IT was a week for the boys at Blair when stallions picked up the majority of the top tickets at the show of Highland ponies on Thursday as well as at the NPS finals on Friday.

The Highland pony stallion, Danny Boy of Croila, gave handler Shona Halford plenty to celebrate when he rose to the top of both days, winning the in-hand Highland pony championship before going on to stand supreme in the NPS Scotland in-hand Mountain and Moorland final.

The eight-year-old on loan from Sylvia Ormiston was rounding off an excellent season, having landed the in-hand Highland titles the Black Isle and Sutherland shows, as well as the supreme Highland honours at the North East of Scotland Highland Pony Enthusiast Society and overall championship at the BSPS Spring Show.

Shona has backed the Sunny of Runivard son and hopes to compete him in ridden classes next season.

“He just came into the ring and said ‘I want to win’,” said Mrs Pat Stirling, who judged the in-hand Highland entry on Thursday.

“He’s like the old fashioned type I remember from when I was young – he’s got a lovely head and outlook with wonderful front legs while remaining light on his feet.”

The second prize stallion followed Danny Boy to take the reserve honours on Thursday. Matching his same award here last year, that was Islesman of Mendick, a five-year-old mouse dun bred and shown by John and Kate Dykes.

This Moss-side Iain Mor stood champion at the National Stallion Show on his only other in-hand outing this season, but has made his mark on the ridden circuit when piloted by Ruth Darling, who was recently gifted Islesman by her partner.

The duo continued their winning ways to win the novice ridden tri-colour in the afternoon, matching their novice ridden title at the Highland Pony Breed Show.

Jo McCormack’s three-year-old filly, Ryuan Highland Lass, an Ulleum of Croila daughter, was the best of the home-bred fillies while Natalie MacDonald’s seven-year-old by Belivat Muldoanich, Braehillior King Duncan, won the gelding championship.

Picking up the most points in the mare and foal classes were Alan Baird’s Oliviette of Whitefield and her filly foal by Whitefield Prince Platinum, but it was Willie and Jean Ralston’s Moss-side Annabelle, by Moss-side Domhnach, that won the foal championship.

There were bumper entries in all the ridden Highland classes, where the new Horse of the Year Show qualifier welcomed 16 entries on the day but no doubt the happiest of the lot was Lynn Paisley who rode her Jura of Meggernie to the top of the line.

Blair seems to be a winning location for the duo as the pair won the overall ridden championship here last year on their first return to the show ring in a few years, and ended the 13-year-old Ben Ruadh of Meggernie son’s show career on a high.

This will be his third time at HOYS, but he can be seen on the dressage circuit and competes in the BD Team Quest Hi Ho Highlands team.

The top two in the open championship both came from the open class for 14hh to 14.2hh ponies, with the relatively unshown Donald of Muck standing supreme.

This seven-year-old Strathmashie Seumus Mhor son was bought by Amanda McLennan as a foal but ventures off Orkney in the spring time to reside with Amanda’s sister, Ashleigh Campbell, who shows him.

Together, they’ve picked up the ridden championship at Caithness as well as the reserve supreme Highland ticket at the Black Isle, and secured a second place in the HOYS class earlier in the day.

“He was just a Rolls Royce ride,” said judge, Hamish Cameron of his champion which heads back to Orkney to work at Amanda’s Kirkjuvagr stud.

“He was very mannerly, polite and forward going, but had plenty sparkle and didn’t put a foot wrong – I could have sat on him all day long,” said Mr Cameron, adding the standard was very strong throughout with no tail-end to the quality.

Hamish said his reserve, Aileen Curle’s Harris of Mendick ridden by Brian Williams, was much the same as he improved as the day went on and is one to watch in the future.

He’s another to have had a good year, having followed on from success here in 2016 to stand reserve ridden champion at the Breed Show in July and qualified for HOYS back in May.

The last of the ridden tickets, the reserve novice title, went to Sally Murray’s Lurgan Tay Mhor, an eight-year-old mare that was ridden champion at Aberfeldy as well as novice and reserve overall ridden at Alyth and the Highland, Fell and Dales Show.

The results in the working hunter ring echoed last year’s top two when Kirsten McMurray rode her mother, Gillian’s Trailtrow Tanera to the top with Sophie Beaumont’s Glenmore of Roisbheinn in reserve.

Also having plenty to celebrate during the NPS finals on Friday were Gwen and Stewart Rae who returned to their Nicholwalls stud with a haul of prizes.

Claiming the majority of these was their Fell stallion, Nicholwalls Black Jack, a home-bred five-year-old that is a bit of a show off, according to stable jockey, Kirsty Aird.

This youngster has been competing on the novice circuit for the his first season under saddle and qualified for the novice ridden final at the NPS Spring Show before going on to win a Blair.

He maintains his good record in-hand too, winning the supreme in-hand title at the NPS Summer Show where he qualified for Blair and went on to win his Gold Medal during the in-hand championship.

Black Jack’s stable mate and fellow Fell stallion, Greenholme Emblem, landed the M and M working hunter championship having qualified at the NPS Spring Show, and will next contend at the Royal International Horse Show and HOYS, both of which he qualified for on his first attempt.

His yearling son, Nicholwalls Graceson won the youngstock section of the M and M in-hand championship before going on to stand reserve supreme to Danny Boy of Croila.

Highland ponies were back in the tickets when Chris Grant’s Dunedin Rhiona, a mare that has won numerous in-hand, ridden and working hunter titles over the years, won the NPS Silver Medal ridden championship.

It was an emotional win for Jo Jack when she piloted Bob Davidson’s Trowan Maverick to success in the open ridden final, and reckons he is the first pony to have done the double having won the novice final two years ago.

The win was made extra special for Jo as she usually attends with her mother but she was sadly taken in to hospital during her battle with cancer but insisted Jo went to Blair.

Maverick qualified for the final at the Highland, Fell and Dales show at Brechin and also won the ridden titles at the Central Scotland Highland Pony Club Show and at Perth Show.

Victoria Mylios and her four-year-old part-bred Arab, Castafiore Emerald, won the riding and hunter pony in-hand championship, while Lynn and Emma Robertson’s 10-year-old Dartmoor, Pumphill Tirella, retained last year’s mini championship with Ella Anderson on board.

A total of 22 Clydesdales were forward for the ridden championship on Sunday, where Kirsty Aird was back in the winning seat to take home the top ticket aboard Jock Wilkie’s Westbank Jessie J. The five-year-old has had a great second ridden season, qualifying for Blair at Fife Show before going on to win the heavy horse ridden class at Suffolk to qualify for HOYS.

Just pipped to the post was Annette and Ailsa’s Peggyslea Andy, which has won here twice, with Charis Gray and Bogton Commander in third.

LEADING awards:

Highland ponies

In-hand (Judge: Mrs P Stirling). Champion – S Halford’s Danny Boy of Croila. Reserve – Mr and Mrs J Dykes’ Islesman of Mendick. Yeld mare (performance) – 1, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Lille; 2, N Gillon’s Strathearn Bonnie Mae; 3, M Campbell’s Knockandy Abigail. Junior gelding – 1, J and J Bonar’s Bowmore Ben Cruachan; 2, Mrs AEM Owen Walker’s Lochlands Prince Tamino; 3, K Richardson’s Trowan Patrick. Senior gelding – 1 and gelding champion, N MacDonald’s Braehillor King Duncan; 2, L Fraser’s Fingal of Mendick; 3, S MacIntosh’s Lochewe Magnus. Stallion – 1 and champion, S Halford’s Danny Boy of Croila; 2 and reserve, Mr and Mrs J Dykes’ Islesman of Mendick; 3, I Berguis’ Carlung Quest. Yeld mare – 1, R McPherson’s Glencallan Gold Leaf; 2, C McQuattie’s Katrina of Strathmore; 3, S MacIntosh’s Tiana May of Forglen. Brood mare – 1, JA Baird’s Oliviette of Whitefield; 2, GM Baird’s Ulrika of Whitefield; 3, Mrs WJ Ralston’s Moss-side Una. Filly foal – 1 and foal champion, Mrs JW Ralston’s Moss-side Annabelle, by Moss-side Domhnach; 2, JA Baird’s un-named filly, by Whitefield Prince Platinum. Colt foal – 1, I Berguis’ un-named colt, by Carlung Quest; 2, GM Baird’s un-named colt, by Whitefield Prince Platinum. Three-year-old – 1 and best, one, two or three-year-old filly, J McCormack’s Ryuan Highland Lass; 2, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Tabhaidh Mor; 3, K Stretch’s Silver Rose of Roisbheinn. Two-year-old – 1, Mrs J Ralston’s Moss-side Yakeira Lady; 2, R Davidson’s Trowan Madeleine; 3, A Baird’s Xenya of Whitefield. Yearling – 1, G Baird’s Whitefield Princess Yukon Gold; 2, J Alexander’s Fourmerk Highland Fling.

Working harness (Judge: D Muir). 1, S Halford’s Gaolean of Croila; 2, Balmoral Estate’s Balmoral Don.

Working Hunter (Judges: Mrs J Barry (jump) and Mrs M Osborne (conformation)). Champion – G McMurray’s Trailtrow Tanera. Reserve – Miss S Beaumont’s Glenmore of Roisbheinn. Novice – 1, S Yeaman’s Blacklaw of Craigieloch; 2, R Chalmers’ Moulzie Thunder; 3, C Taylor’s Ruwenzori Gilbert. Intermediate – 1, Miss S Beaumont’s Glenmore of Roisbheinn; 2, F and L Gunn’s Lachlan of Gersa; 3, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Tanera. Open – 1, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Tanera; 2, Miss S Beaumont;s Glenmore of Roisbheinn.

HOYS qualifier (Judges: Miss M Grant (ride) and Mrs MH Turnbull (conformation)). 1, L Paisley’s Jura of Meggernie; 2, A McLennan’s Donald of Muck; 3, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Lille.

Ridden (Judge: JPG Cameron). Champion – A McLennan’s Donald of Muck. Reserve – A Curle’s Harris of Mendick. Nursery novice – 1 and novice champion, Mr and Mrs J Dykes’ Islesman of Mendick; 2, L Robertson’s Rebus of Fourmerk; 3, L Butchard’s Moulzie Grouse. Novice, under 14hh – 1 and reserve novice, S Murray’s Lurgan Tay Mhor; 2, J and J Bonar’s Bowmore Lady Laura; 3, Balmoral Estate’s Balmoral Madarin. Novice, 14hh-14.2hh – 1, E Long’s Jura of Ryedale; 2, J Page’s Whitefield Lord Prancelot; 3, S Robertson’s Kilbucho Kurkoran. Open, under 14hh – 1, Mr and Mrs A Munro’s Strathmore McNair; 2, Mrs M Osborne’s Rosebush II Na Dailach; 3, J and J Bonar’s Bowmore Lady Laura. Open, 14hh-14.2hh – 1, open champion and overall champion, A McLennan’s Donald of Muck; 2, reserve open and reserve overall, A Curle’s Harris of Mendick; 3, Mrs EJC McNaught’s Heather Jock of Fourmerk.

NPS finals

M and M novice ridden (Judges: Mrs J Etheridge (ride) and Mrs M Taylor (conformation)). Champion – G Rae’s Nicholwalls Black Jack. Reserve – WR Ireland’s Kilmannan Jack Sparrow. Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland – 1, K Errington-Anderson’s Rushfield Milton Duff; 2, A Allan’s Millquoy Democrat; 3, K Irvine’s Dartfordleigh Jack Rabbit. Welsh A and B – 1, K Evans’ Thistledown Blue Moon; 2, L Jarvis’ Eyarth Valencia; 3, J Miller’s Landswood Moonstone. New Forest, Connemara – 1, A Grainger’s Castle Diceman; 2, K Dunning’s Clonhugh Aislinn’s Stormcloud; 3, K Common’s Erne Valley Bricin. Fell, Dales, Highland – 1 and champion, G Rae’s Nicholwalls Black Jack; 2 and reserve, WR Ireland’s Kilmannan Jack Sparrow; 3, R Darling’s Islesman of Mendick. Welsh C and D – 1, S Burkhill’s Medlesham Peony; 2, K Hay’s Terrano Razzle Dazzle; 3, S Walker’s Caerbrennin Modlan Mai.

Ridden Silver Medal championship (Judge: Mrs M Taylor). Champion – C Grant’s Dunedin Rhiona. Reserve – R McGee’s Walstead Page Boy.

In-hand Silver Medal championship (Judge: Mrs J Woods). Champion – G Rae’s Nicholwalls Black Jack. Reserve – A Grainger’s Castle Diceman.

M and M open ridden (Judges: Mrs J Woods (conformation) and Mrs B Halls (ride)). Champion – R Davidson’s Trowan Maverick. Reserve – S Noble’s Daloumie Foxy Lady. Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland – 1, S Thomson’s Hagrid of Catchpool; 2, G Whetter’s Barhill Marigold; 3, B Walker’s Harvieston Romanov. Welsh A and B – 1, S Quinlan’s Dymock Kickstart; 2, E Shaw’s Eyarth Osprey; 3, A Harley’s Butleigh Silver Flyer. New Forest, Connemara – 1, C Cousens’ Kilimazing Granite; 2, R McGee’s Walstead Page Boy; 3, Mrs MB Whiteford’s Fuinseoig Boy. Fell, Dales – 1, WR Ireland’s Kilmannan Robert The Bruce; 2, S Noble’s Daloumie Foxy Lady; 3, J Drake’s Leeshill Murphy. Welsh C and D – 1, K Common’s Coednewydd Quantum Lead; 2, G Whetter’s Trenewydd Danny Boy; 3, P Smith’s D’Abernon Omen. Highland – 1 and champion – R Davidson’s Trowan Maverick; 2, M Osborne’s Rosebush II Na Dailach; 3, A Curle’s Harris of Mendick.

M and M working hunter (Judges: Mrs B Halls (conformation) and Mrs J Beatham (jump)). Champion – G Rae’s Greenholme Emblem. Reserve – G Whetter’s Trenewydd Danny Boy. Not exceeding 122cm – 1, G Whetter’s Barhill Marigold; 2, G Turnbull’s Cui Mia Jess; 3, A Harley’s Butleigh Silver Flyer. 122cm-133cm – 1 and champion, G Rae’s Greenholme Emblem; 2, C Smith’s Cadfach Rhydian; 3, D McElhinney’s Synod Ieuan. 133cm-143cm – 1, G Whetter’s Trenewydd Danny Boy; 2, J Smallwood’s Johnny II; 3, P Fernandes’ Backley Robert. Exceeding 143cm – 1, K Armour’s Derrymore Pride; 2, K Grant’s Bracklin Owen; 3, L Gilliland’s Derradda Rummy.

M and M in-hand (Judge: Mrs M Taylor). Champion – S Halford’s Danny Boy of Croila. Reserve – G Rae’s Nicholwalls Graceson. Senior Connemara, Fell, Dales, New Forest, Welsh C and D – 1 and reserve senior, J Graham’s Colliery May Bell; 2, K Common’s Cannaghs Golden Boy; 3, EJ Murray’s Eastlands Tushiebrae. Senior Highland – 1, senior champion and overall champion, S Halford’s Danny Boy of Croila; 2, C Grant’s Dunedin Rhiona; 3, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Lille. Senior Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland, Welsh A and B – 1, Mrs M Warren’s Clibberswick Lancelot; 2, Transy Stud’s Charlotte of Transy; 3, L Wilson’s Champlers Georgia. Junior Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland, Welsh A and B – 1, J Aitchison’s Penmaric Boogie Woogie; 2, Transy Stud’s Cathkin of Transy; 3, C Crawford’s Blackhill Quanita. Junior Connemara, Fell, Dales, Highland, New Forest, Welsh C and D – 1, youngstock champion and reserve overall, G Rae’s Nicholwalls Graceson; 2 and reserve youngstock, G McMurray’s Trailtrow Tabhaidh Mor; 3, L Macky’s Greenholme Jamie.

Riding and hunter in-hand (Judge: Mrs J Etheridge). Champion – V Mylius’ Castafiore Emerald. Reserve – C Chisman’s Moluccas King Kaffir. not exceeding 148cm – 1 and champion, V Mylius’ Castafiore Emerald; 2, E Cowie’s Helsington Unique; 3, C Cousens’ Rhos Emilia. Not exceeding 153cm – 1 and reserve, C Chisman’s Moluccas King Kaffir; 2, S Williamson’s Chiddock Shooting Times; 3, A Milne’s Penmaric Rhythm.

M and M lead rein and first ridden (Judges: Mrs J Etheridge (ride) and Mrs J Beatham (conformation)). Champion – L Robertson’s Pumphill Tirella. Reserve – S Craighead’s Waxwing Sailaway. Lead rein – 1 and champion, L Robertson’s Pumphill Tirella; 2 and reserve, S Craighead’s Waxwing Sailaway; 3, V Mansouri’s Cromagtir Culann. First ridden – 1, W Calder’s Cui Flint; 2, K Errington-Anderson’s Rushfield Milton Duff; 3, A Robertson’s Broughton Tiffany.