Three chainsaw-crafted horse jumps will mark Angus’ colourful history as Glamis Castle hosts its first eventing competition and country fair.
Staff and volunteers at the tourist attraction will welcome an estimated 5,000 visitors and 460 competitors to a grassroots equestrian event and game fair between Friday and Sunday.
Local artist Tom Harris-Ward, from Arbroath, has created a series of special jumps for the cross country element of the competition in tribute to the county’s cultural connections.
Competitors in the cross country part of the event will fly over a carved copy of JM Barrie’s play Peter Pan, a wooden tribute to local rocker Bon Scott and his band AC/DC and a model of Glamis Castle itself complete with coat of arms.
Event manager Samantha Wade said they had made a deliberate attempt to attract an audience that may not have engaged with eventing before.
“My husband doesn’t do horse trials, but he loves AC/DC, so that’s got him interested,” she said.
“It’s the local history coming into play. Jump builders and course designers are always looking for inspiration. They take ideas from the local area.
“No other event will have a JM Barrie fence or an AC/DC jump. It is to make people think – I might go and have a look at that.”
Samantha said the famous castle and estate hosted equestrian events in the 90s but they ended before the turn of the century.
The Glamis Country Fair and Horse Trials will also include a game fair element with around 80 trade stands, a dog show, a birds of prey display and a gun dog scurry, where dogs compete to retrieve a dummy in the fastest time.
She said local family the Helyers had experience of running similar events and decided to bring a grass roots equestrian event back to the Glamis Castle grounds.
She said equestrian eventing involved three main disciplines.
“Even if people know very little about the sport, you can watch the showjumping and understand that when you knock down a poll it’s a bad thing.
“Then there’s the high octane tests on the cross country course. Then you can see what people like to call the dancing horses in the dressage.
“It’s a real grass roots event. For the competitors, they get a real show experience with crowds – their own mini-badminton.”