After a season chasing qualifiers, Muirmill-sponsored rider, Marion Brown, headed south to Aintree to compete in the Amateur and Veterans championships to become crowned the National Amateur 95cm champion.

Working as a vet nurse for MBM Vets, in Kilmarnock, Marion, a former top junior rider, bred both her horses, Clarity S and Abacus out of De Beers Destiny, which she jumped up to 1.3m classes almost 20 years ago, with both being by the Scottish-based stallion Clarius.

Going into the jump-off of the championship, she slotted into third place with Abacus and had the advantage of going last with Clarity S. Knowing she had nothing to lose, Marion put the foot down and despite his size, Clarity turned and galloped knocking two seconds off the then leader’s time to take the podium spot and enjoy a rug, lap of honour, champagne and £300 prize money.

The Scots made their presence felt at the championships with former Bronze League champion, Alistair White, also laying claim to a title. Riding the 13-year-old Hanleen O Tess for the past five years, this partnership has amassed more than £5000 prize money due to their consistency, despite having to fit shows round work.

Runner-up in the 1m mini veteran championship last year, Alistair cruised to victory this time proudly carrying his Saltire flag into the prize-giving before dismounting and enjoying a champagne covered rosette ceremony.

Megan Cowan’s super consistent little Tullycars Peek A Boo won two 85cm classes at the same show, just missing out in the finals.

Back at home and the Winter Classic was very much enjoyed by all who attended. Scotland is short of classes above 1.3m so it was good to see several days of strong tracks, plenty of entries and good qualifiers.

Most of the more serious classes fell into the hands of English raiders, such as the 38-starter Grand Prix which carried a £2000 winner's purse.

Travelling from Nottingham, Harry Wainwright had been on form being well placed in the Grand Prix of Arena UK, Aintree and Keysoe before arriving at Morris. Riding the 12-year-old British-bred Pinheiro Beech, it turned into a nail-biting finish with Harry recording 31.58s, followed by Jessica Hewitt on Kann Be Lucky in 31.64s, Paul Barker on Green Grass in 31.70s and Robert Murphy, winner of the Winter Grade C on Chawton, with Elan in fourth in 32.56s, with six recording double clears.

Adrian Speight steered Millfield Baloney into sixth in the Grand Prix but they had picked up another £750 for winning the previous evening’s National 1.4m.

Course designer, Ben Townley, watched on as 23 went clear in the Winter Novice making for a fast and furious jump-off. Seven remained clear all the way but taking the tightest of lines was Adrian again, this time on his five-year-old mare, Forever Business, chased home by Derek McCoppin on Pessoa Van De Winterbreek.

Alistair Gatherum travelled south a lot this year with G-Star, whinch looked very comfortable slotting into second place in the Winter B+C qualifier behind James Whitaker on Florantine

Aileen Craig and Trevor Nicholson had been busy this summer setting up their own new yard near Kilmaurs whist still coaching and riding. On board Lisa Graham’s nine-year-old Immer Gewissenhaft, Aileen scorched round the 1.2m Blue Chip Karma Qualifier to shave three seconds off the time set by Paul Barker on Miss Independent B picking up an early qualifying ticket.

Sandy McLean had been in unstoppable form with Jim Wilmer’s Crystalizer and just missed out in the CWD final but made up for that by being crowned Scottish Young Rider Champion when winning on board his and his mother Marjory’s Gino F.

Fergal Holohan accounted for the 1.25m winter championship qualifier on his mother Fiona’s Kan Anne and Falkirk’s Rachel Williamson has had a good run at Morris shows recently, with three wins in foxhunters on her own Sandros Adel mare, Jaytana, which is now heading up the Silver League table.

Abbie Carruthers, from Devon River Riding Centre, Fishcross, had a successful run to Aintree where she picked up some prize money on Juno Rose. Currently standing at the top of the Bronze League, they returned home to win a 1m at Morris.

Jackson and William Stewart have been out competing again after taking some time out to work in the family business, Turlood Equestrian Centre. Both boys have been winning, with Jackson on form with Linnaeus Van Thornesele and William with High Meadows Marty.

In the junior ranks, it's been a good few weeks for Madelaine Archibald, who not only won the Scottish Branch JA Championship on Bay Friend at Morris but went on to jump another immaculate double clear to claim the Scottish North-west JA championship at SNEC.

Little sister, Eleanor, was the only rider to finish in the Scottish Branch 128cm Championship from five starters to take this title on Glenford Starlight, but went onto Blue Ridge to carry on her form jumping double clear to win both the Springboard and the Winter first round.

Making the long journey from Kirkcowan, in Dumfries and Galloway, Phoebe Gaw rolled a pole in the jump off section of the Scottish Branch 138cm Championship with the evergreen 22-year old Kiltomer Curragh, but that was still good enough to win them the trophy.

The only rider to jump double clear in the Scottish Branch South-west Championship was Amy Morris having her last competition on Tobar King. Amy now moves onto horses, whilst Tobar King has been seen in the prizes already with another talented jockey, Michael McColm.

Amy has also picked up another couple of qualifying tickets with FC Flirty For Thirty, which stood runner-up in a Coral qualifier before winning a Blue Chip Sparkle.

Sophie Paxton moved off ponies this year but managed to qualify the lovely grey, Las Vegas, for the Winter Coral championships whilst little sister, Aimee, had been having a winning streak with Santa Rosa earning tickets for the winter novice championships and the winter discovery and Cassi De L’Abdenaie recording double clears in the Winters.

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Lanark and Upperward Pony Club member, William Hamilton, is following in his father, Andrew’s footsteps into showjumping winning three 1.1m classes in a row on the 21-year old JA Another Destiny.

The South-west Scotland Gala evening went ahead this year but without the usual committee at the helm, this year Debbie Benson took up the reins and ran what must be one of the most entertaining evenings in the Scottish calendar.

The car park at Morris was full to bursting, there was hardly a spare seat in the arena and the atmosphere throughout was electric from start to finish.

Tweaked slightly from the original format thought up by what used to be Area KA Committee adding more classes and variety made for an even better experience.

Isla Carruthers on Little Maximus was the fastest home in the ‘Jumping Claus’, Lucy Capper on Rathcoona James was the only pair to finish on maximum points in the ‘Topscoranta’

The ‘Pick your own line deer’ proved a massive hit with riders and spectators with 25 combinations forward. A regular winner at this venue, Timo Dobson finished in 42.09s on Intune with Jackson Stewart not far behind on Ellie in 45.09s.

The Masters at the end of the evening was thrilling with the fences going higher and higher with each round. Such was the standard that it ended up in a jump off with the crowd behing each rider cheering them on. In the end Clare Leitch riding her own fabulous Warhol Wulfselection Z took the class to win the sash and prizes.

The highlight of the evening once again was the infamous ‘Hairies’ race in which invited riders have to gallop bareback on hairy cob-type ponies round a small track together. The thrills and spills added to the hilarity with Natasha McKee emerging unscathed to win.

A roaring success the evening raised in excess of £3500 and will hopefully have secured its place in the calendar for the foreseeable future.