Some glimpses of sunshine, longer days and jumping outdoors means summer is on its way and with it plenty of qualifying classes, finals and travelling around the country.

Once again young rider Sandy McLean has been stealing the spotlight with his consistency having now qualified a squad of horses for various finals at the Highland show as well as winning and being placed in 1.30m and above classes at home and south of the border. His hard work and determination has placed him under the eye of team selectors with his first international team call up already received.

Competing under the GB flag Sandy headed to Compiegne, France as part of the Young Riders team. The pressure of being pathfinder for the team did not affect Sandy and his big, chestnut Gino F who collected just four faults in each round, the lowest score of all the team, to help collect a bronze medal.

Described as a ‘solid’ performance by a young, new group of riders Chef D’Equipe Claire Whitaker was delighted with each rider.

The fastest time overall but one fence down cost Sandy and Gino the win in the Grand Prix but this successful trip will have boosted their confidence and will keep him to the forefront of future selections.

Travelling home to scoop up more RHS qualifiers Sandy then headed to Stainsby Grange, Thornaby-On-Tees to contest the first of the HOYS qualifiers this season.

Riding Lea Brash’s homebred Castlehill Kopa he came within two tenths of a second of winning the Newcomers Second round beaten only by Nicole Pavitt on Kensis N.

With Lea having plenty of horses already to ride the Black Jack-sired seven-year-old was given to Sandy to produce and potentially sell winning a seven-year-old final at South View recently.

Fraser Reed had a cracking weekend with his own Westbank Rio who finished in the frustrating position of third in the Foxhunter second round, the top two qualify but this added to his fifth in the Newcomers second round the previous day means he has collected early qualification for both masters finals with still plenty of chances left.

Fergal Holohan is another young man to have been consistent up and down the country with lots of very good placings in top company with his string of horses. He was chosen with his mother Fiona’s good mare Kan Annie to represent team GB in Lamprechtshausen, Austria in May also taking the speedy Killossery Kameo who was seen winning a good class under the spotlights one evening.

James Smith doesn’t spend long these days at his base at Tongland just outside Kircudbright in the very south west of Scotland, after a few weeks at home he headed back across the water this time to France but not before he picked up a few Highland show tickets.

Joyride CMS and Super Noodle finished first and second in a Foxhunter qualifier with Joyride also through for the B+C final alongside Jim Wilmer’s Wicked Vancouver.

Wicked Vancouver stayed at home for the last trip but is currently in France stepped up to 1.45m level and making light work of this. Still relatively low mileage having been taking steadily for his size he will be one to watch this year as he climbs up the ranks.

James also has Juno Rose with him this time jumping the Grand Prix and ranking classes with several good placings already recorded.

Travelling from Aberdeen Vicki Davidson was another to head to Stainsby Grange to earn a Masters ticket. Riding her own chestnut Kannan’s Concorde for just over a year now they have only recently moved up to Foxhunter level but are already though to the RHS Foxhunter final. The Newcomers second round was a strong enough track for this young mare but she showed talent to finish in ninth going on the following day to just rub one pole off in the Foxhunter second round.

Douglas Duffin and Jordan Thompson headed to Stainsby Grange but just missed out although they’ve been earning RHS tickets at home with Douglas on Millfield Chacolatte winning a very tough Foxhunter at Blue Ridge and Jordan second on Kiana.

Gillian Anderson has her own Stand Up through now for both the B+C and the Classic finals, hard working Isla Stewart was delighted with her confident win in a Foxhunter qualifier with Clyntara and Will Stewart will have two attempts with Drumrankin Ceasar who is through for the B+C and the Classic.

At home riders are appreciating how lucky they are to have such good venues available to compete at. The owners of Highfield of Howe not only run their own shows but have been organising the jumping at Blue Ridge with both centres getting high numbers of entries. Blue Ridge is now sold and will cease to be an equestrian venue which is a blow to the circuit.

Muirmill EC in Ayrshire ran a Coronation show going to the effort of specially made rosettes, sashes, prizes receiving a massive thumbs up from the competitors who really appreciated four days outside and a special atmosphere.

Tillyoch’s outdoor arena always provides some top class jumping running some Highland qualifiers and enjoying some sunshine.

Netherton also ran qualifiers in their spacious indoor whilst Lanarkshire Area hosted their junior show at the popular West Kype with both of these well attended.

Micheal McColm steered his novice pony Legend SCAIS round to head a Liz Fox JC/JD from Ava McCulloch on Gallus Kerfuffle, but also has horsepower in the 138cms classes with AG Dynamo who will contest this final jumping the only double clear in his qualifier.

Aimee Paxton continues to dominate the 148cms section with several wins on Las Vegas . Joining her in the finals will also be Marni McMyn on Eyre Dior Diva who won her class ahead of Taylor McDaid, Stars Surprise and Eleanor Archibald with LCS Peachy Beachy.

Millie Lawson jumped the only clear at Netherton on board Djarfur to claim a second Liz Foc JC/JD with this 148cm and Amy Capper rode a determined round to win a 128cms section with Dooneens Electric to slot in front of the super My Little Sweetheart and Jessica Brown.

At West Kype and the Lanarkshire Area show Elliana Prentice was rewarded for her hard work home producing the seven-year-old Chacha Smooth when he qualified for the 128cms final. Bought as an unbroken three-year-old with the hope of becoming a top track pony he is just starting to come into his own and will give Elliana a crack at the finals, along with her other pony CB It Takes Two in her final year in this section.

Muirmill hosted a Veteran Championship at their early show with a double clear good enough to win for local rider Elana Chilton. Riding her own eight-year-old gelding Khaldaario, bred by Jim Wilmer and by Miami Boy Cruiser this partnership has moved up to Foxhunter level this winter ahead of their event season. Bought as a four-year-old Elana who has now produced him up through the ranks to BE Novice but enjoys some pure show jumping in between her eventing runs was absolutely delighted with this win especially when it earned her a fabulous rosette and sash.

The Scottish 1m Championship fell into the hands of visiting English ride Abigail Leadbetter from Darlington on board her buzzy little mare Hearts Cruise. They had stiff competition from Natalie Devlin on a fresh Coulters Candy and the consistent pairing of Leah Coia on the Speed Finalist winner Condor.

Marion Brown was in from again with her own Abacus to secure another Veteran Championship, Caroline Caldwell has her long term partner Morning Flight out winning but now joined by Koningfee who looks like he enjoys winning rosettes too.