Disabled Equestrians Compete for First Time in 2 Years at Chariots of Fire

It was all smiles at the Chariots of Fire equestrian centre near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, at the weekend during the first competition to be held there for nearly 2 years.

The centre in Boreland had to suspend activities during the Covid pandemic so the weekend’s event was as much a celebration as a competition.  The event followed the strict covid guidelines issued by Horsescotland but that didn’t affect the enjoyment of competitors and their families.

25 young riders took part in an arena challenge on the Saturday – the largest turnout so far – and 17 carriage drivers,  took part on Sunday.  This is the first competition that disabled drivers, supported by Sports Driving Unlimited, have taken part in for over a year.  Chariots of Fire spokeswoman, Liza Pern, said: “It was lovely to see so many people here, and although they might have been a bit rusty after so little practice, it didn’t affect the standard or the enjoyment”.


Riding results:  

Junior : 1. Zara Kaye    2.  Rhys Patterson    3.  Oliver Kaye

Novice: 1.  Samantha Tait   2. Kathryn Wilson    3. Anna Holmes

Open: 1.  Alicia Fraser    2. Drew Ross   3. Kirstin Murray


Carriage driving results:

Junior: 1. Ryan Powell   2. Thomas Smith   3. Camern Holden   4.Callum Holden

Novice: 1. Matthew Powell   2. Graham Smith   3. Mandy Stead   4. Wullie Patterson

Open: 1. Stephie White   2. Stephie White   3. Alicia Fraser  4. Carolyn Fraser


Chariots of Fire has been closed to the public during much of the past year which meant that the equestrian centre and Sports Driving Unlimited were unable to provide their activities for youngsters and disabled people.  With the recent easing of restrictions, Chariots of Fire were able to resume riding lessons for children and young people and Sports Driving Unlimited’s carriage driving activities could restart.  It’s been a difficult year, according to Liza Pern: “We had to stop all contact with our riders and carriage drivers because of the virus which meant that, although still had to look after the ponies, we had no way of generating any income.  Like everyone else, we have found it’s been tough.  We couldn’t have got through without the support of the community and the help of volunteers. That’s why this weekend’s competition is so significant.  It means we’re back in full swing again. And it’s feels great!”    


photos – taken by Alan Clapperton and Liza Pern

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