THREE Borders trainees have been shortlisted for prestigious awards.

Aoife Cowburgh, Stephanie Bartlett - both of Galashiels - and Amy Young, from Duns, have been shortlisted for Lantra Scotland's Awards for Land-based and Aquaculture Skills - the ALBAS.

The awards, due to be held at the Crieff Hydro in March, celebrate those studying for careers in the agricultural sector, as well as the employers who invest in skills development.

The Scottish Farmer:

Amy, who has completed her National Certificate in Horse Care Level 5 at Borders College, said:  “I have always had a love and passion for horses.

"I am a very hands-on kind of person and enjoy spending my time outdoors so putting the two of them together, I knew I was going to love working in the equine industry.”

Aoife - who completed her SVQ in Horse Care with SRUC Oatridge while she worked as a competition groom for Rhymer's Stables in Melrose - added: “While still at school I rode and helped out at a local riding stables.

"I wasn’t very academic at school, but realised I really enjoyed working outside with horses.

"I was then given the opportunity to help at Rhymer’s Stables which led to me getting a job there.”

The Scottish Farmer:

Finalists for this year's awards have been selected by a panel of judges made up of independent and influential members from across the land-based and aquaculture sector.

This year's judges include judging panel chair Keith Paterson from Forestry and Land Scotland and David Knott, curator of living collections at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. who has joined the panel for the first time. 

The final Borders finalist, Stephanie, is studying a HND in Animal Care with Borders College, has always had an interest in animal care.

She said: “I have always had an interest in animals and had a need to learn more about nutrition, health and biology. During college my favourite subject was anatomy and physiology, this helped increase my knowledge and understanding of how animals work biologically and what environmental factors can affect them.”

The Scottish Farmer:

And the awards' host for the event on Thursday, March 7 will be the 'Red Shepherdess' Hannah Jackson, a farmer, public speaker and photographer.

Industry categories at this year’s ALBAS cover agriculture, animal care, aquaculture, equine, game and wildlife, horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber.

Tickets for the awards ceremony are available from Lantra Scotland on 01738 310164 or at: