Showjumping by Susan Cook

Several riders fled abroad while they still could before further lockdown restrictions and enjoyed weeks of competing in better weather.

Kirkcudbright's James Smith had a trip to Aintree just before he headed across the water, where the appropriately-named Simply Splendid lived up to his name with a good second in a 1.4m open before heading the big one, the Grand Prix, where 45 were forward vying for the £1500 winner's purse – just six returned double clears.

James made sure no one would catch him recording a time almost a second quicker than that of Will Whitaker and these two were more than 4s clear of Keith Shore.

Onto Valencia and James had a consistent opening with a win on Graham Gillespie's Simply Splendid, which took four top six places throughout the show and fifth in the Grand Prix.

Elmo Brown collected his share of prize money, rounding his show off with a third in a 1.4m whilst Twix De La Roque collected a third in a small Grand Prix and HBF Delmar jumped plenty of clears although a couple of time faults denied them some higher placings.

Next was Vilamoura, Portugal and quite a few Scots have camped here since the beginning of October.

Kirkton Equestrian-based Douglas Duffin had been in the money on a few horses, including Katie McCardle's Imperium RJ, which only joined the team in August. Following on from some useful double clears nearer home at Bolesworth and the Scottish Summer Second Round show, this pair has now recorded six top six places abroad.

Kardento SCAIS is picking up double clears and prize money in the young horse classes, as is Clyntara, who only joined Douglas in August

Jordan Thompson also has CES Wicked Contender and Sign Of The Times jumping clears in the CSI3* and young horse classes.

Graham Babes was fourth in the CSI4* with Boucheron and has just been a bit unlucky with Glencoe in the 1.45m classes with just one pole falling at times.

Graham also has the lovely I'm Special De Muze six-year-old Monks I Am Casall jumping well in the young horse classes and the eight-year-old Mulo VanT Veldeken recently stepped up to 1.35m classes.

Dunlop's Amy Stewart is enjoying her first trip abroad with Graham's former ride Cluedo. This partnership has hardly hit a pole the whole show in the 1.1/1.2m sections putting them in the money.

Busy coach, Amy Ogilvie, left her Champfleurie stables with her own Leandro Van De Eikelboscherheide and Maureen Little's Chacoa Cross Cruise with both jumping plenty of clears in the 1.2m sections.

Victoria Hewson stepped up to 1.35m with the super little mare Zenas Flight to record a double clear before they headed home.

Back at home, the new tier system's related travel restrictions had everyone confused but most centres opted to try running shows which have been so far well attended.

Just before these new restrictions came into place Aberdeen's Millie Lawson managed a trip to South View where she had a super, if not slightly frustrating show resulting in three second places.

In the 90cm Masters Tyrone D picked up a blue ticket, in the 138cm Championship it was the turn of Noah's Lady to be runner up then Jimdone finished second in Newcomers and the 128/138cm handicap saw Toy Story be second in a 1.15m.

Fife's Kyle Forgan has struck up a great partnership with the 148cm Little Miss Buttons Blue with the pair eventing successfully up to and including BE100 this season.

Turning to BS, they've won three classes already including the pony Sapphire Winter Championship qualifier at SNEC, as well as a Newcomers at Blue Ridge and one at the Scottish Extravaganza show and may well be worth watching if everything gets back to normal in time for qualifiers next year.

Lanark and Upperward PC member, Lexie Lane, is another to be on strong form just now with her 128cm Derrymore Lucky Lad. They're proving almost unbeatable in the 75cm classes, finishing first or second in their last seven starts, most recently at the Scottish Extravaganza at Morris.

The McFadyen family is kept busy travelling from their home in Kelso with three members competing, though Duncan is now off working in Ireland, leaving Katy and Rory out jumping .

Rory has been scooping up the 80/90cm classes with Hawkmoon Lucky Lady, whilst Red Flamenco has been seen in 1.1m with just one pole on the floor over an up to height course at the Scottish Extravaganza.

Only one rider managed a double clear in the 128/138cm Winters at SNEC. Lucy Capper travelled from Houston, Renfrewshire, to jump two good rounds over strong tracks to take the win with Marshways Perfect Puzzle.

At the Scottish Extravaganza, there were three clears in the Winters with Charlotte Gaw leading the way on Take A Chance, Anna Black next with Its Bob On and Madelaine Archibald third with Queen of Scots.

In the senior ranks, Fraser Reed remained consistent with Judith Spence's Hunterstone which he qualified for the Aintree equivalent of HOYS. This pair has been winning and collecting more double clears in Foxhunters. Hunterstone travels with Fabiola and Ikyora who were through to the Newcomers final with the former now showing plenty of ability in 1.3m.

Sisters Charley and Natasha Hamilton are not short of horse power, with Charley hard to beat on Inishannon Red Squirrel but also being seen bringing on some smart novices.

Natasha Hamilton took over Okehurst Miss Mexico from Derek McCoppin at the end of the summer and has been working her way up to winning a 1.3m at her base, Tillyoch EC.

Ayrshire's Anneliese Aitken managed a trip south to Arena UK where her Eagele Z never touched a pole finishing in the money in three 1.2m and a 1.3m. A new ride, Confident Of Victory, also jumped some good double clears despite only being with her a matter of weeks.

Carolyn Andrews on her own Firado, which she has produced from the beginning, headed the 1.1m second round at The Cabin EC. Caroline Timmins, on Earnest, won the 95cm, the super speedy Storm Ahead Ted and Aileen Ferrari were the winners of the 1.05m second round and Alistair White, reigning Bronze League Champion steered Whisky Girl to win the 85cm.

Ben Fairbrother, who is studying mechanical engineering at Herriot Watt, manages to find time to ride four horses with the yard favourite, Urban Cowboy scooping up a 1.05m at a well organised Howe EC.

Glow DK and Cancun were Lucy Stewart's winning mounts at Muirmill EC, where the accounted for the last two classes of the day, the 1.1m and 1.15m Members Cup.

Gary Ulke, riding out of Fiona Burgoyne's Horsechoice yard just outside Edinburgh, made a return to the ring after an 18-year absence on Zimon Proterras and showed he hasn't lost his touch, jumping three double clears in his first four classes at The Cabin and Howe.