In a “very emotional” last hurrah a record number of horse-riders descended on Gleneagles for the last ever competition to take in the equestrian centre’s main arena.
Hot on the heels of hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup, the Gleneagles Hotel announced plans for a new 2,500m2 event space, doubling as a four-court tennis centre.
While the hotel said the existing equestrian offering at Gleneagles’ Activity School will be retained, with coaching for all levels still offered to leisure and corporate guests in the small arena and outdoor facilities, construction of the new ‘Gleneagles Arena’ sounded the death knell for the 700-seat heated indoor riding school venue.
“There are few other venues that hold such fantastic special memories for so many people,” said Gleneagles’ equestrian events organiser Jane Cepok.
“In the 26 years since its inception there have been many memorable events and shows of all descriptions, clinics, evening demonstrations, Christmas shows and parties,” she added.
“Not only have there been many memorable people through the door, but the equine characters too have definitely left their mark on all those who came regularly to Gleneagles.
“One of the highlights for many attending in the freezing cold was being able to get warmed up in the poshest toilets ever! What a hub of memories for so many people which nothing will erase.”
Almost 300 riders split between 72 equestrian teams declared their resounding support for the venue and heaved a collective sigh of disappointment over its loss by supporting the popular annual competition.
Results Nursery novice: 1 Strathearn Pony Club D (Allana Grieve and Brewster, Blair Morton and Paddy, Daisy Lockhart and Bacardi, Ben Humphries and Mishka) clear/77.36; 2 Strathearn Pony Club C (Kyla Grieve and Milo, Freya England and Kenny, Sophie Maher and Coco, James Houlden and Sedan) clear/79.17; 3 Kilgraston School (Milly Wilson and Amy, Emma Lesley and Lenny, Maria McElhinney and Seaview Romeo, Tess Whylie and Hightopps Barbee Doll) clear/83.52. Novice: 1 Kilgraston School (Olivia Grant and Roshween Passion, Bernadette McEilhinney and Polaris Gerralt, Eilidh Macpherson and Ebony, Anna Smallwood and Lovat Jac Ffach) clear/82.40; 2 Strathearn Pony Club (Kyla Grieve and Milo, Rowanne Westwood and Buddy, Sophie Maher and Coco, Amelia England and Sodar) clear/88.31; 3 Fife Hunt Pony Club (Robyn Black and Buddy, Holly Farquharson and Missy, Ava Miles and Basil, Allanah Grieve and Brewster) clear/105.19. Unrestricted novice: 1 Kincardineshire Pony Club (Thia Dodds and Maggie, Kirsty Rae and Hugo, Laura Moore and Brook, Jessie McLean and Westy) clear/80.24; 2 Kilgraston School (Jemima Cross and Lindisfarne Whinberry, Olivia Grant and Little Puzzler, Anna Whylie and Morgans Toff, Daisy Cross and Lindisfarne Whinberry) clear/87.88; 3 Rowanlea Riders (Morgan Donald and My Lady Lola, Logan Thomson and Ever So Clever, Christy Robertson and As Cool as Ice, Olivia Pierronnet and My Grange Chiccoa) clear/90.31. Intermediate: 1 Kincardineshire Pony Club (Sofia Tobin and Mulgrave Freddy, Amber Shillington and Calista Bay, Heather Halley and Teddy, Olivia Grant and Lord of the Dance) clear/75.69; 2 The Awesome Foursome (Jo Heaton and Hobo, Lauren Butchart and Todd, Liz Fincher and Ivor, Eve Brown and Hope) clear/86.62; 3 East Stirlingshire Pony Club (Evie Gallagher and Oor Wullie, Elise Rae and Poppy, Emma Woods and Gerry, Kate Gallagher and Stella) clear/91.16. Open: 1 Strathallan School B (Rowan Laird and Little Cliff, Harriet Clarke and Ruby, Rowan Laird and Kara Top Dun, Rachel Hamilton and Shannondale Somax) clear/87.16; 2 The Awesome Foursome (Jo Heaton and Hobo, Lauren Butchart and Todd, Liz Fincher and Ivor, Eve Brown and Hope) clear/93.21; 3 Strathallan School A (Hanna Cheape and Hob Nob, Jessica England and Eleanor of Aquitane, Charlotte Stephenson and Howards Hope, Iona Wilson and Shadow) 4/91.62.