By Susan Cook

Coming towards the end of another year it is good to look at the rankings and league standings to see where everyone’s results have taken them.

Currently 14th in the world and the highest placed Brit in the FEI world rankings, Scott Brash has had a year building up a new string of horses and although his number of placings in the year was almost half that of the leading rider, he wasn't so far behind on points mainly due to some good wins, including the Grand Prix at the London venue of the Global Champions Tour, on Hello Forever, in front of his home crowd.

So, 2018 looks set to be a more exciting year for Scott, who has a few new younger talents to bring up. He is also the highest placed Scot in the Gold League, standing 21st with Hello Mr President but at 53rd was Aberdeen’s Aimee Bell and Cameron Poe.

This partnership rarely has a pole down and have now been together five years since the 15-year-old Poe was bought through trainer, Douglas Duffin. They earned their way to Olympia and a fifth place in the under 23 final to end the year in eighth place overall in the Young Riders rankings.

James Smith features at 80th in the Gold rankings with Twix De La Roque, but is another reorganising his team following the sale of one of his best horses earlier in the year, Tyson Uno and the retiral of the mare, Cumina.

She already has some foals on the ground through embryo transfer, and grand father Charlie McKerlie’s home-bred Just Max is looking more than useful and with some new owners on board, including Graham Gillespie, things are looking good for James in 2018.

Mark Turnbull slotted into 80th with Cartouch. Gaining mileage and growing in confidence, they have been on form abroad with a Grand Prix win in the bag already.

In the Silver League, Sandy Laird currently occupies the top spot with his own Dali IV. Found at Goresbridge sales, in Ireland, this gelding looked a bit of a handful at the beginning but they have found their niche scooping up the speed classes including a good win at the Scottish Premier.

Lucy Stewart’s horses earn their oats and so its no surprise to see her in second place behind Sandy with Cancun, which has won all round the country.

The Bronze league is one of the hardest fought and certainly the busiest of all the leagues. Megan Cowan is currently in first and fourth with her own Tullycars Peekaboo and Pieter after many wins and placings mostly at the northern centres such as Tillyoch and The Cabin. She recently headed to Aintree for the amateur finals and was one of the few Scots to return with a red ticket.

Having only just started on horses, Lesmahagow’s Lauren Forrest has made a meteoric rise to second and third places with her own Cyrena Du Carel and WKD Cosmopolitan. Already beating some of the more senior riders, 2018 should be a year to watch out for this young lady.

Onto the ponies and Shaunie Greig tops the 148cm gold section in Britain. They rounded their year off with an impressive third at Olympia. With a selection of good 148cm ponies to choose from, it was Casino Royale which took her to the top of the league.

Nicole Lockhead Anderson has been travelling abroad with other ponies with success, but it was Lynncot Fancy Pants and Beech Comber which stood third and fifth in the league.

With just one show left together, Amy Morris and Madonna will part company before the 2018 season. They rounded off a phenomenal year standing at the top of the 128cm Gold league.

On the other hand, its only the start of their career together and Will Stewart has already made a HOYS appearance and a place at Olympia and currently stands 10th in the 128cm league and should be even more in contention next year.

His little brother, Jackson, was also seen third in the bronze league on Ardfry Sherpa and will be travelling with Will next year.

In the junior Bronze League, Banchory Academy student, Katie Woods-Young, has amassed the most points with her own appaloosa gelding Apache Joe. Their year included trips to the British National Championships and Weston Lawns, but the majority of their points gained through shows at The Cabin, Tillyoch and Howe.

Charley Hamilton stood second with Taraco Emerald, but also at the top of the pony silver league, this time with the palomino, Castlebaldwin Golden Arrow.

In third and fourth with Castlehill Clover and Midnight Minuet, Sandy McLean will now leave juniors to head onto seniors where he is already making his mark and beating his older counterparts.

Out and about and some of the shows have had to cancel due to the weather and icy conditions. But some shows went ahead and see below for the winners.

But Fife-based Rachel Aitken hit form at SNEC's Christmas show, claiming two classes on her own Sir Shutterfly/Clover Hill gelding Harleys Revenge. This eight-year-old won a class and had another two top three finishes at Highfield of Howe to secure the 1m and the 1.05m.

Andrew Blackwood scored in the two busiest classes of the show the 18-starter 85cm and the 21-starter 95cm. Blasting round on his little chestnut, Copper V, he stood well of clear of each field to take home two reds.

Jordan Thompson rode a stylish clear in a quiet 1.1m on the British bred Margento, which is by John Whitaker’s Argento out of a Marius Claudius mare.

LEADING awards


70cm – 1, Grand Kannan, H Haig; 2, Incredible WV, D Woods; 3, Incredible Star, L Lorimer. 85cm Nat Am – 1, Copper V, A Blackwood; 2, Jack The Lad, W Mahoney; 3, Cyrena Du Carel, L Forrest. 95cm Nat Am – 1, Copper V; 2, CE Rocklands Cherry, A Gardiner; 3, Quadro, C Mills. 1m open – 1, Harleys Revenge, R Aitken; 2, Abba Gold DTF, K Low. 1.05m Nat Am – 1, Harleys Revenge; 2, Winnie VII, B Fairbrother; 3, Zimperia, A Milne. 1.1m Nat Am – 1, Margento II, J Thompson; ,2, Amadeus XV, AL Green; 3, Winnie IV.