The winter weather has struck in force with snow covering a lot of the country but this hasn’t stopped the riders getting out and about.

Before the worst of the weather started the main focus for a lot of competitors was the Aintree Amateur and Veterans finals, the culmination of endless double clears and qualifying competitions.

Groups of riders flocked to stay for the week at this Liverpool based venue to soak up the atmosphere and evening entertainment as well as compete in classes with over 100 entries.

Ayr based Lucy Stewart has been having a fairy tale season with her team of horses who have earned their keep all year winning at home and abroad.

The nippy black gelding Cancun came home with two red ones starting with a fast one in a 1.15m qualifier then rounding his week off with a good second in the 1.10m final behind local rider Levi Critchlow then a very convincing win in an even faster 1.15m final earning a rug, sash and the annual title.

Natalie Devlin was just a bit slower each time but delighted with her pair of horses My Hallo Jessie and Coulters Candy the latter of which had two top 10 placings in 1.10m classes before finishing 6th in the 1.15m final.

Kilmarnock’s Kirstie Boyd collected a 6th in the 1.05m final with Elle Clover but it was in the accumulator that she earned £150 for her second place cheered on by her Scottish compatriots

Aileen Jeffrey on Desi I and Stuart Muirhead on Merlynns Mondena were both in the placings throughout the show but came together in the Pairs to dress up, go fast and pick up a 5th place in a very entertaining evening class.

Megan Cowan opened her show with a decisive victory in a busy 90cms qualifier on the handy Pieter whilst also finishing fourth with Tullycars Peekaboo.

Ben Fairbrother had only found his ride Winnie a matter of weeks before the finals so it was impressive enough that he had had the time to qualify. Still early in their relationship they were delighted to finish 4th in a 1m Challenge class and can now relax and get to know each other with next year’s finals their aim.

Alistair White and partner Angela Wiltshire stayed for the full week qualifying for the finals.

Alistair steered the Scottish bred Hanleen O’Tess round a very fast 17 strong jump off in a 95cms final to slot into 7th with Gemma Kennedy happy with her mount Glorialudine in 9th.

Slightly further afield and young Scotsman Graham Gillespie has been enjoying the sunshine in Oliva, Valencia where his mounts Kylie Van De Noorheuvel, Fortuna ES and Hike have all been in winning form.

From there he travelled to Opglabbeek, Belgium and partnered a new ride to him the former Niall Talbot ride Andretti to secure a Grand Prix win over a 1.40m track in the best of company making this a combination to look out for.

Another young rider travelled far from her Aberdeen base out to Stuttgart to hold her own in junior competition. Nicole Lockhead Anderson just missed out to settle for an amazing second place in good company on her own home-produced superstar Gangnam Style in a Table A 1.35m class then 6th in a 1.25m in the best of company.

Closer again to home and Greg Taylor has slotted well into the Wilmer team once again keeping owner Jim happy with three wins in one day at a recent Morris show.

The homebred Singapore’s Pride who is out of the nippy little mare Ushci won a Discovery, daughter Amanda Wilmer’s Moll Mor gave Greg a 1.05 victory and Formule I took the red in the final class of the day the 1.30m Open.