vendredi 10 août 2007

Scotland: Endurance for top horseman

Aug 10 2007

Alison Anderson

HE still may only 11 but horseman Iain Paterson is set to gain his second Scottish cap.

The young rider from West Gatherleys Farm, near Dunning, donned the Saltire for the first time last August when he was selected by the Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC) in the 2006 Home International Championships.

Iain’s continuing success in endurance riding over the season attracted the selectors’ attention, resulting in a return to the Scottish team for the match against England, Wales and Ireland.

This year, the championships are held at Barbary Castle in Wiltshire on August 11 and 12.

In 2006’s Home Internationals Iain rode his 13hh pony, Burnside Charisse, who unfortunately was lamed out on the second day.

His partner for 2007 is his young horse, Tannasg Primo Dancer, a five-year-old home-bred Arabian broken-in and trained by Iain.

His part of the Scottish squad is as the junior rider is the 50km (30 mile) class.

SERC rules regarding young horses limit the number of miles they can cover, so Iain and ‘team Tannasg’ have had to carefully plan this season’s campaign, but Primo Dancer successfully attained Bronze Thistle Final standard which puts horses on first level of competitive endurance riding.

Iain’s longer-term ambition for Tannasg Primo Dancer is to take him to right to top level of endurance riding which involves competing in 160km (100 mile) FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) race rides. Iain’s next big ride after this weekend’s Home International is at 50km class at an event which also hosts Scotland’s first FEI endurance event – a 110km FEI 2-star class for gold series riders on September 1 at the new Scottish National Equestrian Centre at Oatridge.

SERC rules require riders of Iain’s age to be accompanied by an adult. Throughout the Morrison Academy pupil’s short but successful in endurance riding, Iain’s mother Seonaid has been his riding mentor.

This season Seonaid is riding CS Kismet, a six-year-old former successful Arabian racehorse who has been given to Iain for his endurance endeavours by Andy Castle of Aberuchill Estate, Comrie.

Iain is a member of the Strathearn branch of The Pony Club.

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