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15 September 2014

Drumtochty 2004 Ride Report

(This was sent to your editor from a member of Tayside Branch)

Although the weather in the week leading up to the Drumtochty ride was very wet, the morning of the 11th July dawned if not too bright at least dry.  This was to be Donald and I’s first ride in another region.  We arrived early and then waited (and waited) for Hazel and Tumble to arrive.  Just when I was starting to worry Hazel phoned to say that she had taken a slight detour (via Stonehaven) but was now back on the right road and would be with us shortly. 

Hazel arrived and we both got horses vetted successfully and set off.  Unfortunately 3 miles into our 24.3mls started to limp.  On closer inspection it appeared that Tumble must have stood on a stone and bruised his sole – Hazel decided the only option was to turn round and walk back to the venue. Donald and I continued on alone.  After I had been riding for about an hour I suddenly realised that I hadn’t seen another person since Hazel had turned round – and no I wasn’t on the wrong track, there were still lots of hoofprints about.  Having completed the first loop of the ride, in the north part of the forest it was along the road to start the second loop on the south forest.

This part of the ride was quite different from the first, a lot more grassy tracks which unfortunately were all quite mushy because the rain.  The route on the moor, going up and over the hill seemed never ending.  Met a mountain biker, pushing his bike, on this section so had someone (apart from Donald) to chat to for a while.  Having toiled to the summit of the hill. Making our way back down to the road and along to the venue was easy.  For the first time this was where we saw another horse!

Donald passed the vet check, although it had been a tough ride for both of us.  Living next to the sea we get lots of beach gallops but little hill training not to mention missing out on the midges.

Everyone says that mishaps happen in threes – well I got a call from Hazel in the evening to say that on her way home (by the direct route) she had been flagged down by the police because there was a flat tyre on the trailer.  The police kindly helped Hazel change her wheel so that she could get home.  Hazel definitely felt she should have stayed in bed that day!  Lastly, a big thank you to Grampian Branch and the organisers of the ride, who had done very well marking the route in torrential rain on the Saturday.     Maureen.