Everyone loves Blair Castle International Horse Trials as the highlight of our Scottish equestrian year, and there is something enduring about the setting in front of the castle and that natural amphitheatre centering on the main ring where all the eventing action takes place, amid heather clad hills all around.

Let's hope it's only the damp grass and early morning mist that adds to the experience, with the cross country winding its way to the north-west and the hill climb to the water jump calling out for a visit.

An early morning run up to the folly is a BHS Blair tradition and best of all seeing old faces and celebrating the fact that another summer of horse competition has culminated in this now five-day (with the grassroots champs) celebration of the best and most exciting equestrian sport that Scotland has to offer.

For BHS Scotland, this means the zenith of a year of qualifiers as our working hunter and style jumping Scottish championships reach a climax. And we are indebted to our sponsors; Eastern BMW, Dodson and Horrell and the technology services company, Clemmie, who cheerfully fund hundreds of rosettes throughout the year and give lovely ‘in kind’ prizes at the final.

BHS also has an interest in the riding club horse class this year generously supported by Just Chaps where the all-round horse has to jump, be mounted and open and close a gate whilst showing perfect manners and rideability.

The 2018 Land Rover Blair Castle Horse trials is a super reflection of how the horse is a rural driver in Scotland supporting such diverse industries from equine vet and farrier to saddlery, feeding, fencing, jump manufacturers, rider equipment and clothing – it goes on and on and you can see them all at Blair. It is so important that we capture the value of our industry so that in the brave new world following Brexit we can claim the place of equestrianism in the health and wealth of a modern Scotland with certainty. To this end BHS Scotland currently has an online survey running in conjunction with Robert Gordon’s University MBA programme to provide Scottish statistics and a snapshot of where we are at in terms of activity and spend.

The British Equestrian Trade Association is the main organisation that captures industry stats – regularly dipping its finger in the water with research in between its major equestrian survey. The next GB survey is due this autumn and we are hoping to glean some ‘Scotland-only research from this, however we do know from conversations – and Blair next week will confirm this – that our sector is currently in growth.

What a memorable summer 2018 has given us and all the livestock and equines are so well having benefited from firm ground under their feet and warm sun on their backs, animals are just like us when it comes to enjoying benign weather. One dark cloud on the horizon might be concerns about winter bedding with timber reaching an all-time high price and a runaway market and the expensive gold that is straw being physically shorter than ever. We will all have to manage our pastures carefully but with the night’s drawing in and cooling down and plenty of potential catch up growth in our grass that was stunted by drought, we might see an extension to the grazing season unless it rains constantly.

The trick is not to worry about the future (but do plan for your horse’s welfare) and try and enjoy what is left of the summer season with our horses and ponies – and of course our friends at Blair!