Scotland’s horse country celebrates its historic equine traditions in the first Borders Festival of the Horse

Scotland will be celebrating “the horse” during the inaugural Borders Festival Of The Horse, which begins on 18 May.

The 12-day festival, which is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is being organised by the Borders committee of the British Horse Society (Scotland) to celebrate the long standing role of horses in the area.

More than 40 events are taking place during the festival, including leisure rides, competitions, training sessions, demonstrations, yard visits and open days as well as Floors Castle International HorseTrials (18-19 May) and national hunt racing at Kelso (29 May).

“The festival will include activities suitable for experienced riders, who may wish to bring their horses to the Borders, and well as young riders and beginners,” explained Virginia Scott Watson, chairperson of the Borders committee of BHS (Scotland).

“Many local riding centres are offering discounts on tuition throughout thefestival and horses can be borrowed or hired for some of the activities.

“And there are plenty of events that can be enjoyed by non-riders and people whowould like to discover more about the equine world or enjoy a fun day out. Wewant this to be a festival that everyone can enjoy.”

Festival highlights

The festival’s centrepiece will be an Equine Extravaganza at Springwood Park showground in Kelso on Saturday 25 May. Demonstrations, headed by the spectacular Chariots of Fire display team, will run alongside competitions in the main arenas. Trade stands, an indoor exhibition area, sideshows and attractions will ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Other highlights include an exclusive tour of Floors Castle Thoroughbredstud, followed by a champagne reception in the castle’s magnificent state rooms (28 May).

For riders who would like to exploring the Border’s beautiful riding country, guided rides are taking place on 20-24 May. A list of accommodation for horse and rider is available from The Scottish Borders Tourist Board (tel: 0870608 0404) or e-mail: info@scot-borders.co.uk

For full details of the Festival visit www.bhsscotland.org.uk

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