NATIVE ponies will be on show at Blair Horse Trials next week, when the Highland pony classes on Thursday are followed by the NPS Scotland Finals on Friday and the ridden Clydesdale championship on the Sunday.

The event, which takes place from Thursday, August 24, through to Sunday, August 27, will welcome many of the top competitors from the UK and further afield to what is the main attraction, the three-day eventing competition, but will also welcome many of the top native ponies from around the country.

Taking to the Tummel Arena and Bruadar Country Fair Arena at 8.30am on Thursday will be a strong turnout Highland ponies, up by 40 on the year with the addition of the Horse of the Year Show qualifier, as many exhibitors bring their summer show season to a close. As well as the in-hand classes, which will see a strong entry paraded in front of Mrs Pat Stirling, there will be classes for working harness, working hunter, ridden, and the HOYS qualifier.

Donald Muir will be placing the working harness ponies while Mrs Jane Barry and Mrs Marguerite Osborne will judge the jump and conformation sections, respectively, of the working hunter classes.

In the ridden section, Hamish Cameron will be the man in charge of the prize tickets while Mrs Marjorie Grant (ride) and Mrs Heather Turnbull (conformation) will place the HOYS hopefuls.

The NPS Scotland finals will take place in the same arenas on Friday, and also kick off at 8.30am. With exhibitors coming from as far afield as Shetland to Yorkshire, the show of Shetland, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Fell, Dales, Connemara, New Forest and Welsh Section A, B, C and D ponies, alongside riding and hunter ponies, has attracted record entries.

Qualifying rounds for the various finals are held at shows – both equine and agricultural – throughout Scotland during the season and remains coveted, with ponies only allowed to qualify once for a specific championship each year.

In addition to the NPS Scotland Finals, there will be Silver Medal championships for both Mountain and Moorland in-hand and ridden ponies which have won NPS Silver Medals in the last 12 months, with the winners being awarded Gold Medals.

A highlight for many attending the four-day event will be the ridden Clydesdale championship, with horses able to qualify at 24 shows in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Set to take place on the Sunday, at 12noon, judges Tom Tennant (conformation) and Richard Telford (ride) will have 19 horses to put through their paces.

These include Stephanie Slater on Bulwark Bay; Kirsty Aird on Westbank Jessie J; Ailsa Noble on Peggyslea Andy; Isla Miller’s Stobilee Zac; J Woods’ J Casper The Friendly Ghost; Bogton Fearn from Keely Gordon; Natalie Young’s Bratlach Laura; Morvan Armour on Bruno; Bogton Commander from Chris Gray; Judith Grant’s Glenside Flower of Scotland; Swordale Lady Luck from Morag Snow; Sharon Hepburn’s Coolbank Hamish; Brodie from Tui Wright; Emily Clark’s Bruach Keanu; Prince William of Aikers from Jacqueline Munro; Allan Craig on his and Hugh Ramsay’s Millisle Cracker; Amanda Merchant’s Rolling Thunder Mr Bojangles; Rick Doughty’s Lammermuir Archie; and Prince from Nicole Peat.

NPS judges

Tummel Arena

Kilmannan Stud M and M novice final Mrs J Etheridge (r) and Mrs M Taylor (c)

The Minns ridden Silver Medal rosette (Scotland) final Mrs M Taylor

Kilmannan Stud Silver Medal rosette (Scotland) final Mrs J Woods

Baileys Horse Feeds M and M open ridden final Mrs J Woods (c) and Mrs B Halls (r)

The Minns Silver Medal rosette championship (supreme ridden) Mrs J Beatham

Bruadar Country Fair Arena

Kingfisher Building Products M and M WHP final Mrs B Halls (c) and Mrs J Beatham (j)

Townhead Pet ‘n’ Pony M and M in-hand final Mrs M Taylor

NFU Mutual Insurance riding pony and hunter pony in-hand final Mrs J Etheridge

Kilgraston School M and M lead rein Mrs J Etheridge (r) and

and first ridden final Mrs J Beatham (c)