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15 September 2014

Drummuir Ride report

By Mary Stelmach

Drummuir is always a popular early season ride offering distances from 80k downwards. It attracts riders from our neighbouring branches who are ready to try an early 80k or wish to use it as a training ride for the Golden Horseshoe. Entries this year were good although sadly some of the longer distance riders withdrew before the event for various reasons.

Unfortunately it is also a fairly complicated ride with remote vetting, major road crossings and a railway crossing as well as the usual checkpoints, vet writers etc. It requires a large number of helpers, and many of our kind volunteers gave up their opportunity to ride in order to help on the day. Alison McKelvie did a stalwart job in persuading anyone not riding to turn out as well, so in the event we did have enough people to run it, although it was touch and go up to the last minute. As always, Raynet were a great help.

Leon & I visited farmers, wrote to all the landowners, obtained keys and checked the route in the previous weeks, and dry weather in the preceding days was a blessing. We had to tackle yet another fallen tree when marking the day before the ride, but all went well.

Should this ride be run next year there will need to be a minor change of route following some thoughtless riding which spooked young horses into an electric fence. This resulted in a following rider being thrown off her horse. Fortunately no lasting harm was done, but a number of apologetic visits and  ‘phone calls were required!

We are particularly grateful to Kate Robertson who helped us to mark the route, and to Joan Austen and Tracey Banks who gave up their Monday to help clear the markers.

Thanks are due to Simon & Susan Jacyna, Pat Williams, Ruth McMinn, Linette Cormack, Lorna Hogg, David Clucas, Rosemary Ashton, Jane Hollstein & Douglas, Clive Pollitt, Tony & Karen Comerford, Ruth Riddell, Shuna Marden, Angela Horrod, as well as the two vets, the farrier and five Raynet operators. (If we include a helpful friend, the route markers and clearers, and Leon & myself – that amounts to 30 people who worked to put on this ride, not to mention the friendly farmers who delayed putting out stock, opened gates and moved sheep on our behalf.) No wonder Candy remarked there were fewer riders!