After a week of torrential rain and awful forecasts, the sun came out in time for Dumfries Show, where four affiliated classes were on offer including a HOYS qualifier and an open championship encouraging riders from further afield.

It is just as well the bookies were not there as the man who would have started as the hot favourite turned out to be the safest bet maintaining form that has seen him win almost every Scottish championship in the last couple of months.

Graham Babes has hit a patch of unbelievable form, no surprise given the amount of hard work and dedication this teenager shows to the sport.

A member of Horse Scotland Performance squad, Graham has enjoyed on-going training and support through this as well as at home from his parents, George and Muriel, themselves accomplished riders.

One of his winning rides was the home produced six-year-old Chellthago Z/Numero Uno gelding, Glencoe. Brought out as a four-year-old he has been taken quietly before heading to Spain and France earlier this year where they were in form in the age classes.

This set them up to produce a treble clear in the Newcomers Second round at the Scottish Extravaganza a few weeks ago before they headed south to Bishop Burton for another attempt.

Jumping another treble clear and beating another 38 competitors Graham stood at the head of the line collecting what was to be his first HOYS ticket of the season.

Simon Buckley was just one second adrift on wife Joanna’s Katie I with Scottish Extravaganza winner Annabelle Shields just outside the qualifying places but still earning another chance at the National Championships on board the Scottish bred Rubin VHS.

Finishing in fifth also gaining another chance was young rider Emma Crawford in her first senior year on board Franke De Bonheur.

On to Dumfries, and Graham with Glencoe could do no wrong finding all the answers to George Blackie’s HOYS Grade C qualifying track which jumped well off the good ground.

An agricultural show with a few rings going at once, plus sheep, cattle and all sorts of showing, Dumfries can be quite an eyeful for younger horses yet 10 from the initial 22 starters went clear to go immediately against the clock.

A time of 77.12 was to see Graham win the class but not without a very good attempt from Kathleen Hamilton on husband Andrew’s Up To Date Show Girl, a nine-year-old by Lord Pezi out of an Up To Date mare.

Jumping well at this year’s Royal Highland she came out fresh and up for the challenge to slot behind Graham in 77.68.

Declan Irvine may have been a few seconds adrift (80.42) but he was still delighted to qualify in third place with the useful Mystic Independence, a nine-year-old British bred gelding by Lupicor, another partnership to have benefitted from jumping abroad earlier this year.

There was no stopping Graham who went on to tackle the 15 starter South West Scotland Open Championship.

His ride, Boucheron has been third in 2015 and second in 2016 so it was definitely his year to take the spoils.

Riding the only double clear of the class Graham deservedly lifted the £300 first prize along with the sash, the trophy and yet another title to add to his collection.

Defending champion, James Smith did give some cause for concern when beating the time but a pole in the floor with Graham Gillepsie’s Flinstering left them collecting a blue rosette for a change.

Nicola McArthur was just outside the money in this class with Davie Kerr’s Amaretto but they had earlier claimed the 1.20m Open beating another four through to the jump of by almost nine seconds.

Sue Farrell travelled up from Appleby in Cumbria to win a sash and a generous £75 when returning the quickest of just three double clears in the opening Newcomers class.

Leading awards

Newcomers – 1, Diamond Lux, S Farrell; 2, Lux Eclipse, M Byrne; 3, Castor, S Davies. Foxhunter/1.2m – 1, Amaretto, N McArthur; 2, Premier Diamond, C Charters; 3, Eccosse, S Low-Mitchell. HOYS Grade C – 1, Glencoe, G Babes; 2, Up To Date Show Girl, K McArthur; 3, Mystic Independence, D Irvine. Scottish Branch South-west Championship – 1, Boucheron, G Babes; 2, Flinstering, J Smith; 3, Bailande Van De Kapel, K Connor-Baillie.