As the year draws to a close, a few Scots headed south to attend one of the most spectacular shows of the year, Olympia.

In the heart of London and brimming with Christmas spirt, this is one show riders say they enjoy the most with only a select few ever earning the chance to compete there.

The one and only Scott Brash is still flying the flag for Scotland at the highest level and only just missed out on a World Cup win, coming second on the wonderful Scottish-bred mare, Ursula II, to top the list of home side achievements.

But some of our younger riders were also in the money. Shaunie Greig has had a fabulous year on her team of 138cm and now mostly 148cm ponies, so it was no surprise to see her take part in the Mince Pie Stakes where one rolled pole dropped her to third place in one of the best junior jump-offs of the show.

Her mount this time was the wonderful Casino Royale, with which she topped the board in the Leading Pony Show Jumper at Horse Of The Year show just a month or so ago.

Nicole Lockhead Anderson had returned from her jaunts abroad making the huge journey from her Aberdeen base to only just tip a pole on Gangnam Style, which is another to have created an impressive CV this season.

Fraser Reed fell foul of a few fences on Kilcloghan DG Clover, but this young man looks destined for big things as he enters seniors full time, showing plenty of ability when beating his elders at Morris’ Development Classic.

The Olympia under 23 final is one all the young riders aim for, with points gained around the preceding winter premier circuit. Showing consistency to qualify were Aimee Bell and Mark Turnbull.

Neither returned a zero score but Aimee slotted into fifth on her consistent Cameron Poe, whilst Mark rounded off a good year for him both at home and abroad on the ever improving Cartouch III.

The Mistletoe Mini Stakes is a 128cm competition and always has the support of the crowd as the smallest of jumping ponies fly round some huge fences.What a year it has been for Will Stewart. It was only at the end of January his ride Soxs Pocket Rocket was purchased out of Italy then within a matter of months they started jumping he biggest of tracks before qualifying for the Royal Highland. Then followed qualification and an appearance at HOYS and in the gold league finals at the British National Championships where they qualified or Olympia.

The fastest time overall with two fences on the floor shows how competitive this pair are and at only the start of their partnership they will be excited for 2018. They travelled back to their Lesmahagow base with a seventh-place rosette.

It all didn’t quite go to plan for Amy Morris but what an adventure she had including nearly being snowed in and having to lead the pony out of the farm onto a waiting lorry then a nine-hour journey south.

Amy, who has one 138cm and a team of 148cm waiting for next year will have one more show, Liverpool International, with the wonderful Madonna, which has taken her to HOYS, Olympia, RIHS and many more before the pony heads off to a new home soon.

Another to make a big effort to head south from the farthest corner of the country was young Savannah Roper on the evergreen 22-year-old Glen Hill. Earlier in the season they finished fourth in the Bronze League finals at the Nationals before being invited to compete at Olympia. Completely unconcerned in the atmosphere she was paired with one of Britain’s leading riders, William Funnel on Billy Fanta, to collect a special Olympia rosette for seventh.

Closer to home and only the brave dared out in freezing conditions to tackle Ingliston Country Club’s three-day show.

Richard Duncan and Declan Irvine have some nice young horses to produce just now but it was Vicki Wight’s flashy chestnut Zambesi-bred, four-year-old Insallah that gave them two red tickets for two double clears in the British Novices.

Kirsty Aird scored a treble starting with the Connemara pony, Gortglass Rebel, winning a discovery before the home-produced Breckenridge stayed clear throughout in a newcomers, then ever faithful Jumping Mac Flash coming out tops in a 1.2m open.

Logan and A-J Creighton have a new truck, so took it for a spin full of horses coming home with a few tickets between them. A-J was in the money on the Emerald-sired Lovely Lady whilst having a first competitive outing on Logan’s stallion, Oldlands Vivaldi.

Logan rode a Vivaldi son Valme to win the newcomers, with Kanselier also jumping double clear.

Carlisle’s Jonathan Dixon will be happy with his purchase, HS Agris Gucci Blue, a six-year-old daughter of Zirrocco Blue which he's had since August. This mare comfortably won the final foxhunter and Natalie Devlin rounded off a fab season with a win on Coulters Candy in a 1.15m open.

LEADING awards


British novice – 1, Insallah, D Irvine; 2, Lovely Lady, A-J Ceighton. Discovery – 1, Chocky Z, F Kolburg; 2, Mistery De Litrange, F Kolburg; 3, New Star De Bisson Z, K Dunlop. Newomers – 1, Valme, L Creighton; 2, Lou Lou De Rouet D Brown; 3, Perotta JX, H Aird. Foxhunter – 1, Her L’Amour, D Duffin; 2, At First Dauthuit, J Smith; 3, Horatio Van Ter Hulst, D Irvine. British novice/90cm – 1, Hollamby’s Ally D, A Gardiner. Discovery – 1, Gortglass Rebel, K Aird; 2, New Star De Buisson Z. 1.05m open – 1, Casino Royale, F Short. Newcomers – 1, Breckenridge, K Aird; 2, Emeratti Van De Vallei, S Curran. 1.15m open – 1, Darco Diva, D Anderson; 2, Aldatos Choice, M King. Foxhunter/1.2m – 1, Jumping Mac Flash, K Aird; 2, Geneva Van De Vallei, A Barr. British novice – 1, Insallah; 2, Hanleen Chinky Monkey, S Gemmel. Discovery – 1, Grand Kannan, H Haig. 1.05m open – 1, Gemalin VD Donhoeve, H Haig; 2, Parkhill Legacy, L Rennie. Newcomers/1.10m-1, Valdiron, G Taylor; 2, Duet, J fearnley; 3, Gogobantos, J Dixon. 1.15m open – 1, Coulters Candy, N Devlin; 2, Just Elody, A Hood. Foxhunter/1.20m open – 1, HS Agris Gucci Blue, J Dixon; 2, Her L’Amour; 3, Touch Of Class, A Hood.