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15 September 2014

GREENS OF AFFORSK, BLAIRDAFF (ALIAS THE EASTER-EGG HUNT RIDE!)

Ride report by Lynda Keeler

Little did I realise when Lorna said there would be a surprise for us at the Greens of Afforsk ride that it would be a hunt for Easter Eggs!  However, the day dawned sunny and bright but very cold and I arrived early at the venue (which was a surprise for some!).

I had intended riding the 36km on my own but caught up with Jo MacIsaac after a short distance.  Our mares seemed to go well together their paces being very similar as, indeed, were their temperaments – each one vying for the best “ears back kill you” look!!  It wasn’t long before we found the first basket of eggs and letter to be collected.   We assiduously read our talk rounds and maps as the route was very circuitous and we didn’t want to get lost but the markers were frequent and the lettering kept us straight.

What fun I had trying to reach the eggs without getting off – FATAL – I knocked them all flying and then spent ages picking them all up again (sorry if anyone ate a grubby egg!!)  Jo was much quicker at collecting the eggs….  Mmm all that lovely chocolate – it certainly kept us going all the way round the route.

Some of the forestry tracks were brilliant and gave good canter sections and the walk sections were obviously necessary as we found one family of walkers having a picnic – they thought it great to see the horses go by and the children in the family all waved.

Lots of walkers with dogs on route too but it all made for an interesting ride.  Our thanks must go too to the Check Point stewards, Gundala and Jackie as they supplied us and all the riders who went past with sloshers and water – what a great job they did as well as taking our numbers!

We finished the ride on a speed of 11.5 km – which was nae bad seeing we had collected all the letters to make the word THORNTONS – whose wonderful egg was the first prize.   Our names and answer to the puzzle was put into a tub and Lesley, the vet, had the honour of pulling out the winners.  A great finish to a really fun ride.

Thanks go to the organiser, vet, timekeeper, helpers and all those who marked and demarked the route.