By Susan Cook

Lockdown restrictions have been relaxed and within hours the Scots headed off in search of shows and qualifiers south of the Border, whilst the Scottish show calendar filled up.

There's still no indoor jumping, so everyone has had to tough it out in unpredictable spring weather but this has not wiped any smiles away, with most grateful to get going again.

With just four weeks of jumping having resumed Scottish riders have already secured two HOYS tickets and a couple for the RIHS.

Aberdeen-born Nicole Lockhead Anderson has been based with Holly and Graham Smith, near Melton Mowbray, where she's been gaining invaluable experience riding a variety of horses,

Partnering the Diamant de Semilly seven-year-old mare, Diamant de Jadore YSH, since October, the pairing never touched a pole all weekend at Weston Lawns, jumping three immaculate clears to head the first Newcomers second round and take an early HOYS ticket.

Qualifying for the Masters in the same class was Declan Irvine, who steered another seven-year-old, Jitterbug, into third just missing his direct ticket by a frustrating one place.

The second HOYS ticket to return home came courtesy of Millie Lawson on the 138cm Noah's Lady. They managed to keep ticking over with shows at Blue Ridge and Tillyoch before heading to South View, then to Arena UK, where they one of just six combinations to make it to the third round in the HOYS 138cm qualifier.

One pole on the floor left them in fourth behind Tabitha Kyle on Mister Proper and Another Barney, then Katie Bradbourne on Dolly Du Carel.

A former winner at HOYS in the 128cm section this is the first time Millie will get a chance to return and have a go at the next height up.

Nearer home and the seniors took to The Cabin's four-day show which was the first time they had all been allowed out. A fabulously friendly show at the best of times, it was made even better with everyone meeting up for the first time in months.

A Winter Novice qualifier, with tickets on offer to the Royal International Horse Show (Hickstead), was the one to chase.

Fastest home this time in what has been a two round competition for the past few years was Mischa Irving on her own impressive I Sir Marcus.

Home-bred out of Casaretta and just one of a number of fabulous home-breds Mischa and her mother, Allana, have at home just outside Strathaven, I Sir Marcus just missed out in the same qualifier at Aintree back in October but the eight-year-old made no mistakes round Di Johnstone's course to post a winning time of 34.28s.

Declan Irvine came closest to Mischa, stopping the clock on 36.80s with the consistent Luidam daughter, Jitterbug.

Irishman Stephen Smith, based at Balcormo, was just 0.02s behind with Hi Ho II in 36.82s then Mischa filled fourth, this time on Babe Star KZ.

Quite a few have hit form really quickly and none more so than the Morris family, who have not only endured the lockdowns but also being snowed in in their home in the Borders. With their arena covered in snow its been a challenge to keep the horses and ponies fit but they've managed to emerge ready for battle.

Older sister, Megan, will be heading to uni in September to study law, but meantime has a couple of super horses to compete. The 10-year-old grey Houston daughter, Let's Hope, has been notching up her Newcomers and Foxhunter double clears ready for the second rounds.

A recent trip to The Cabin saw them jump double clear and win a 1.3m Open before finishing second in the Silver League qualifier.

Megan also has the former Kathleen Hamilton ride, Up To Date Showgirl, who has been jumping well in Foxhunters.

Little sister, Amy, had two 148cm with Tobar King jumping well to finish fifth in the JA Classic at South View before heading two 1.2m classes at Blue Ridge.

Robe Silver Lady won two Members' Cups and a 1.1m the same weekend as Megan was at The Cabin, making for a successful weekend all round.

Now based at his family's yard at Lasswade, talented young rider, Sandy McLean, has been winning his fair share. Riding the 10-year-old Astrello-sired grey, Gravin Tina JL, he has won or been placed in most of the 1.3m classes he jumped recently, including winning two out of three at The Cabin.

Another grey, Crystalizer, has been almost unbeatable in Newcomers and should be one to watch in the second rounds.

In the wake of the EHV outbreak, Douglas Duffin and team, who had been at Vilamoura at the time, stayed abroad rather than travel home and once given the all clear headed to Lier where Douglas had several top three results with Imperium RJ in the 1.4m classes and with Carezzo and Cylntara in the young horse sections.

Jordan Thompson rode Quidam BZ and Jerez VDO to double clears in 1.35m and 1.2m classes, respectively.

They have now returned home and have been seen winning at Morris EC with Team Kirton's Jordan taking a 1.1m on Amy Ogilvie's Leandro VD Eikelboscherheide, Katie Sawers on Codean second and Douglas with Hey You third

Lucy Stewart has come back out with Glow DK and Cancun and in typical flying fashion scorched round to head several classes between them.

Ron Brady's team of riders keep collecting red rosettes with Craig Hamilton on Dynamic, SES Acrobat and Phoenix VD Donkhoeve; Kady Brogan scooping up a couple of 1m sections with Drumbane Sunshine and Laura Hutt jumping clear in the bigger classes.

Michael McColm has Waterborn Bertina, a daughter of the dressage pony stallion, Bernwode Brokat, winning discoveries alongside his coloured Danny Boy, which took a win at Muirmill.

Fergal Holohan is successfully juggling ponies with horses and can be seen in amongst the seniors on Kan Annie and Killossery Kameo but it's the Cruising-bred 148cm Little Flexible which has been jumping plenty of double clears also taking a win at Muirmill. Prime Diva headed a 1.1m at Muirmill and JJ Lucky Star which was placed at Morris, Muirmill and won at Blue Ridge.

Fiona Malcolm completed a BE90 at Frenchfield, finishing seventh before returning to the show jumping ring to head two out of her three classes at Morris EC on the Irish bred Fortress Hill M2S.

Aberdeen's Kayleigh Spalding had a great show at Weston lawns with Dolous, which jumped six classes for one pole on the floor and several top three finishes whilst also partnering Genesis to a win in a six-year-old qualifier with this horse claiming two newcomers at The Cabin the following weekend.

Blythe Brewster started her 2021 season off well with two wins on the Irish-bred Hio Imp Dale and Iona Drummond came home from The Cabin happy with her spoils which included two wins with Nine Bells.