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‘She rides like a sports horse’: Clydesdale mare switches harness for double bridle on route to ridden heavy horse championship


  • A Clydesdale mare who is part of the Bandirran stud’s driving team cemented her career as a ridden horse by lifting the season’s main ridden heavy horse accolade at the 2021 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Scottish producer Kirsty Aird was in the driving seat of Margo Mcintyre’s Dillars Ideal nine-year-old Glenside Matthew’s Flower Of Scotland (Thistle). The pair qualified at Royal Cheshire County back in June.

    “She’s always deserved her chance as she’s a lovely mare with a lot to give,” said Kirsty, who last won at HOYS in 2018 in the M&M workers with Fell stallion Greenholme Emblem. “We knew she could do it but she just needed that little bit of luck.”

    Thistle is based with Ron Brewster and his team, and driving is her first career:

    “I go and ride her once or twice a week and then we meet up at shows,” said Kirsty. “She has a lovely attitude which makes my job a lot easier.

    “She’s very mannerly, comfortable and goes off the leg; she rides like a sports horse.”

    Thistle’s trip from Scotland was broken up by a stop at a friend’s house:

    “We gave her a rest day so she was fresh for today,” explained Kirsty.

    When asked about her plans for the supreme, Kirsty told us to “wait and see for that one.”

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