Quality not quantity was very much to the fore amongst the Highland ponies which saw a reduced number forward on the day due to the adverse weather conditions throughout much of Scotland and the north east of England.

Veteran breeder and judge, Jean Connell from Auchtermuchty was nevertheless most impressed by her choice of champion and reserve – two young fillies from Andrew Baird, Whitefield, Burrelton and Kate and John Dykes, Mendick Lea, West Linton, respectively.

"The champion is a very pretty horse and of a traditional type. She has a great top line and is very feminine all the way through, but there wasn't much between her and reserve, a filly foal which is very true to type, feminine and with a lot of bone. She has a big future ahead of her," said Mrs Connell.

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Taking centre stage was Andrew Baird and his father Alan's Whitefield Lady Catriona, a yearling filly that stood second at the Central Scotland Highland Pony Show at Strathallan and the North East Scotland Highland Pony Enthusiasts Show (NESHPES). Her pedigree features Glenmuir Buzzard, now owned by Wendy Bridges, onto the show winning mare, Whitefield Queen Xeena.

Coming in a close runner-up was the Dykes' Ptarmigan of Mendick, a young filly that was champion foal at the Central Scotland Show. A daughter of Marksman of Mendick, she is bred from Corrieben Breagha, which was also the dam of Aileen Curle's red ticket winning Avongar Lady Morven.

LEADING awards

Filly foal – 1, K and J Dykes' Ptarmigan of Mendick; 2, K and J Dykes' Amber Rose of Carlung; 3, A Baird's Duchess of Whitefield. Yearling – 1, A Baird's Whitefield Lady Catriona; 2, J Ralston. Two-year-old filly – W Ralston. Three-year-old filly – A Curle's Avongar Lady Morven. Two/three-year-old – 1, A Baxter's Glenmuir Harrier.