More than 45,000 equine enthusiasts are expected to descend on Perthshire this weekend as the Blair Castle International Horse Trials get under way.
Among the 1,600 competitors will be the current British Open Champions, Ben Hobday and Shadow Man ll, who will challenge for the top class.
The four-day festival, which is marking its 30th year, includes international event classes, the Scottish Grassroots Eventing Festival, cross country, a Highland pony show, British show jumping and Pony Club mounted games.
The event also includes a charity gin tasting evening, with proceeds going to Riding for the Disabled Scotland.
Julia Sim, from Atholl Estates said: “The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials is one of the most exciting times of the year for us. The castle is the perfect backdrop for the event and this year we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the horse trials taking place here.
“Once again, we look forward to welcoming both participants and visitors to the estate and wish everyone who is taking part the best of luck”.
Nicky Townshend, assistant director of the trials, said: “The Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials is a key fixture in our annual calendar of events, helping drive Scotland’s visitor economy by attracting equestrian fans from across the world to our shores.
“With Blair Castle providing the perfect stage for Scotland’s biggest equestrian event, the packed programme of events and activities alongside the trials makes for a great day out.”
The event will also see the equestrian debut of a crime-busting tractor.
The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) is bringing the £80,000 machine to the event following its success at agricultural shows across Scotland.
The move aims to highlight rural crime and show what local residents can do to protect their property.
Alan Dron, rural crime co-ordinator for SPARC, said: “Rural crime occurs throughout Scotland and recognises no boundaries. Therefore, it is important SPARC can take a visual presence to support the local communities, local partners and events.
“The British Horse Society is a key member of SPARC and having a presence at such a prestigious event in the Scottish Equestrian calendar further demonstrates how, by everyone working together, we can promote and improve community cohesion where those living, working or enjoying beautiful areas such as these feel safe, regardless of location.”
Eric Gardiner, managing director of the Hamilton Ross Group, which supplied the tractor, said: “We are delighted with the positive response from our partnership with SPARC and look forward to opening discussion with those working in the equestrian industry.
“We hope the SPARC tractor tour continues to raise awareness of rural crime prevention and the security measures that can be taken to protect farm equipment and machinery.”