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Looking forward on Orkney

ORKNEY Riding Club is looking forward to the summer, according to secretary, Helen Foulis.
“We usually have an average of 78-80 members who take part in all disciplines. We run weekly club nights, and also support clinics with instructors from south, including David Gatherer, Andrew Hamilton, Eric MacKechnie. Ashleigh Reilly, Colin Hexley, to name but a few.

“The club’s biggest event of the year is the Open Summer Show – on June 18, and it is held on the Dounby showpark, a lovely area of green ground owned by the Orkney West Mainland Agricultural Society.
“The show has 49 classes, plus section and overall championships, and we have four judges coming from the south, so the travel does incur quite a cost for the club, but we need fresh eyes.
“We usually get a visitation from Shetland equestrians to our shows, and they usually do well.
“Indeed, at our Winter Woollies Show and spring Working Hunter shows, Shetland competitors went away with the championships.
“We are holding a camp for the first time, in July, where we have Ashleigh Reilly and Colin Hexley booked, and will be offering lessons for ‘Creakies and Scaredies’ in the hope of encouraging folk to come along and take part in three days of coaching.
“There are lots of new cross-country fences, but due to the wet last year we didn’t have a chance to jump them, but fingers crossed for this year.
“The Riding Club also supports the annual Riding the Marches, which is after the County Show in August. We ride the old town boundaries of the Royal Burgh of Kirkwall, with a stop at Scapa Beach to toast the Queen, and have Pimms. There are usually upwards of 70 riders/drivers for this.
“We were nominated for Club of the Year at the Horse Scotland Awards this year .”