Gin It 2 Win It: winners of over-40s eventing league celebrate friendship… and gin

  • The winners of an over-40s eventing challenge aimed at “celebrating friendship, duct tape, and gin” have been crowned, as organisers get ready to make next year’s series “bigger and better”.

    Gin It 2 Win It was the brainchild of former British Eventing (BE) Scotland under-18 co-ordinator Rose Dudgeon and Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell, with support from co-organisers Lara Bailey Kerr, Caroline Moseley, Laura Anderson and Grace Moran. Riders accumulated points for placings, completions and double clears at Scottish BE fixtures throughout the year.

    Claire Johnstone and Hanleen Armani won the Classy Touch trophy for the riders aged 40-49 category, Gillian Edward and Benny Station took the Shades of Silver salver for riders over 50, and Sarah Thomson and Justo Georgia won the Little Beau trophy for the best rider over 60. Jane Valentine and Cabplant Hire took the prize for best rider over 70.

    Grace told H&H everybody got behind the league, with results coming “right down to the wire” at the final event of the season, at Burgie in September.

    “Throughout the series we had different people leading at different times and we had riders writing blogs for the Eventing Plus — Scotland Facebook page. It was really good banter and we had a real camaraderie,” she said.

    Riders were encouraged to wear a small piece of duct tape to identify themselves as being part of Gin It 2 Win It but Grace said next year they hope to design a lapel badge.

    “Some people wore the tape and some didn’t, we think partly because they didn’t want the dressage judges thinking they were being held together by duct tape if they didn’t know what the story was!” she said.

    “This year we had unbelievable support from sponsors and prizes, from days at the races to bags of horse feed – and of course gin. We’re currently making plans for next year to make it even bigger and better hopefully. We would like to have some social gatherings too, we were slightly restricted because of Covid this year. The whole idea is to help people feel part of something, meet like-minded people and have fun.”

    The official prizegiving took place at Lucinda Russell and former champion jockey Peter Scudamore’s yard on 17 October.

    “Lucinda and Peter did us proud, their generosity was quite something. Three stable tours were held and we got to meet all the horses and see how the water treadmill works, so it wasn’t just a fun day, it was educational and informative too,” said Grace.

    “Lucinda is an amazing ambassador, not just for racing, but for eventing too. We’re trying to convince her to borrow a horse and maybe do an event next year. She’s not said no yet, so we’re hopeful!”

    Details for next year’s series will be announced in due course and can be found on the Eventing Plus — Scotland Facebook group.

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