High hopes for Scottish team chasing revival *H&H Plus*

  • Discussions have been taking place with venues over a planned revival of team chasing in Scotland. H&H speaks to campaigners and organisers to find out more

    THE revival of team chasing in Scotland hopes to offer more opportunities for riders.

    A Facebook group, Team Chasing Scotland, has been formed in the hope of relaunching a series, with discussions taking place with potential venues.

    Rider Gillian MacDonald told H&H she formed the group after finding many team chasing events in England, but not in Scotland.

    “It’s a shame because look at all the land we have here and the potential. I thought, wouldn’t it be fabulous if some of our great venues in Scotland put on a team chase as part of their schedule of events for next year? The interest from riders has been off the scale,” she said.

    “I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the level of interest from some established venues and have around eight who have said they are interested in putting something on.”

    Gillian said some of the venues she has spoken to include Craigenputtock, Gleneagles, Burgie and Kirriemuir.

    Doreen Calder, secretary of the Berwickshire cross-country day at Duns Castle, which ran team chasing events in the 1980s and now incorporates a team chasing class as part of the annual hunter trials, told H&H she believes numbers declined in team chasing as more people moved towards British Eventing (BE).

    “When we originally ran it 40 years ago, we would have up to 60 teams. If Gillian can encourage things and get it going, we’ll be standing ready to have as many teams as people want,” she said.

    James Helyer, organiser of BE fixtures Kirriemuir and Glamis Castle, told H&H he is “very interested” in running a team chasing event if the dates can fit in with the venues’ BE commitments.

    “At the minute, the whole of the equestrian world has got to look at new things and we’re no different to anyone else. Pairs cross-country has always been popular in Scotland and I think team chasing would offer something different for riders,” he said.

    “The traditional hunter trials here in the autumn are very popular and receive big entries so if people are prepared to do that, maybe they will have a go at team chasing.”

    Colin Carter-Campbell, owner of the Craigenputtock cross-country course, told H&H he plans to build a full team chasing circuit.

    “We have the land here to do it and around 80 to 100 jumps, including a water complex. I’ve had such enormous pleasure in my lifetime riding across other people’s land over the years, I feel now it’s my turn to allow people the opportunity to ride on mine.”