Flying the flag for Scotland in France, was talented young rider Graham Babes, who was part of the Great Britain Young Riders team in Fountainebleau, bringing home a gold medal.

Partnered by his Highland Show International Stairway-winner, Boucheron - Graham was delighted to stand on the podium representing his country after posting four faults in round one and eight in round two over a strong 1.50m track.

Well supported by his very experienced family and enjoying training at home thanks to Horse Scotland Graham has maintained incredible form all year catching the selector’s eye with many wins at home and abroad. Just 20-years-old, Graham was brought up on the family’s Darwhilling Farm being able to ride anything from a cob to a show jumper, making him an excellent horseman and certainly one with a very bright future indeed.

Two young ladies in top form this summer are Nicole Lockhead Anderson and Shaunie Greig.

Nicole made the wise decision not to jump her top pony Gangnam Style at the Highland Show keeping him fresh for the British Championships. The tactics paid off when she raced to victory in the Charles Britton Winter JA Classic Final, one of the most coveted JA titles of the season at this busy show in a class full of most of the top ponies in the country.

On the same pony Nicole was also fourth in the European trials at Bishop Burton the following weekend.

At this venue Nicole was also seen slotting into second and third in the Newcomers second round on Nightgirl Van Het Sonnishof Z and Epee Nazar respectively giving her more rides at this year’s Horse of the Year show held at Birmingham’s NECC in October. Nightgirl Van Het Sonnishof made the track look easy and as only a six-year-old looks to be one worth watching as she gains more mileage.

Already a winner in Europe and at Bolesworth, Shaunie steered her Lamprechtshausen Grand Prix winner Casino Royale round the European trial at Bishop Burton for just four faults which was good enough for a win over a huge and unforgiving track.

Chloe Templeton had managed a third and a fourth place in previous Newcomers second rounds before heading to Northcote Stud, near Blackburn. Riding her ultra-consistent and home produced Still Got Me she made no mistakes at all this time to return an immaculate treble clear for an outright win and her third HOYS ticket for 2018 and her second consecutive HOYS.

In her final year in juniors North Berwick’s Vicki Selby plans to go out in style with an appearance at HOYS on the cards thanks to her fourth place in the Pony Show Jumper of the Year at Bishop Burton.

Yet another rider trained by John Aird the last fence may have fallen in the jump-off but this was good enough to secure Vicki a place in the finals at Birmingham with family favourite the sixteen-year-old mare Bay Friend.

Closer to home and juniors enjoyed a BS Scotland camp organised by the Scottish Branch and Development Officer Melanie Scott and run at Morris EC where instructors Andrew Hamilton, Andrew Wilson, Karen Carson and Aileen Craig coached on all aspects of jumping, flatwork and management, getting a huge thumbs up from all who attended rounding off with a well-attended two day show the following weekend.

Just down the road from Morris EC, Muirmill Equestrian Centre was voted into the top ten equestrian venues in Great Britain slotting into seventh place, just reward to the owners who strive to upgrade their facilities on a weekly basis and who now boast one of the best outdoor arenas in Scotland running affiliated show jumping on weekdays as well as weekends.

Further up the country and the seniors flocked to The Cabin EC, Inverurie, where the very popular Sunshine Tour is run over nine days at the beginning of July, incorporating qualifiers, championships, as well as some novelty classes and some varied evening entertainment!

One of the major draws to this venue is its hospitality and sense of fun with riders thoroughly enjoying their stay from start to finish with over one hundred stables booked for this the seventh running of this event and over two hundred rounds of jumping completed.

Local rider Lucy Guild came out tops in the North East Open Championship, jumped over Di Beaumont’s track.

Just two remained clear all the way with Lucy on her Highland show winner Hugana Vant Heike quicker against the clock to relegate another local girl, Jodie Maher on the very stylish, scopey and enthusiastic seven-year-old Gavanta who opted for a steadier round.

Twelve-year-old Lauren Forrest travelled from her base just outside Lesmahagow to win plenty of classes with Cyrena Du Carel, WKD Cosmopolitan and new ride the Irish bred Wicked Clover.

Currently at the top of the Bronze League standings, Lauren hardly left any red rosettes for anyone else so it was no surprise that she was crowned the Leading Rider of the Show picking up loads of goodies for her efforts.

The League qualifiers were not as busy as expected with just sixteen starting in the Silver section and twenty in the Bronze. The top three in each gain direct qualification for the semi-finals at Bishop Burton where they vie for their golden ticket to the finals at HOYS.

Earning their tickets to Bishop Burton in the Silver was Rosie Pindar who was having a good show standing at the top of the line in a 1.30m with Hanleen Beatrice, riding Perotta JX in this class she took the win with a fast clear.

Last year’s semi-finalist local rider Carolyn Andrews with Firado will have another shot this year when finishing in second with Kirsty McPherson on Typhoon third and Freya Cluness on Celebrity BE the only other double clear to finish just outside the ticket placings in fourth.

In the Bronze qualifier Gemma Mackintosh, currently in 83rd in the rankings came home quickest on WSF Oslo to take her through to the semi-finals, Susan Robson slotted into second with the Irish bred Bonmahon Fancy Carel and Scott Sinclair taking the third qualifying place with his own consistent El Sierra.

Other major winners were Declan Irvine, who was second to Lauren in the leading rider points, and his string of RD Sport Horses scoring a few wins with Grand Kannan, Dior Van Overis Z and Ranee II amongst others along with team mate Sandy McLean who finished first and second in a 1.30m Championship on board his sister Claire’s Warhol Wulfselection Z and Angie Main’s Dior Van Overis Z.

Dunfermline’s Amber McCulloch is in her final year in juniors and having to art with her wonderful coloured pony Quantro III. Members of the Central Scotland Academy, Amber was nominated for ad won the NAF Shining Star Award for July in recognition of her hard work and determination throughout the season which has seen her achieve her ambition of qualifying for and competing at the Royal Highland Show.