The Borders Festival of the Horse, unique in the UK, is a celebration of all things equestrian and features a programme of events spread over 10 days in May.
They attract visitors in their thousands and include the Floors Castle Horse Trials, which draws top riders from all over the UK, guided rides in the beautiful Scottish Borders, open days, competitions and demonstrations.
“The festival has grown year on year since its inception in 2001. It was started to help the region bounce back from the devastation caused by the foot and mouth epidemic.
Our programme includes something for everyone with an interest in horses and caters for all age groups,” said festival organiser Ann Fraser.
The festival generate plenty of interest in May but, with 350km of horse trails on offer, the Scottish Borders region is a popular equestrian destination all year round.
To make life easier for visitors to the region there’s even a B&B service for horses and ponies in the Scottish Borders. The five-star Horses Welcome initiative, successfully established under the guiding hand of the British Horse Society (Borders), now offers almost a dozen quality assured stops.
“We do attract visitors from a wide area in Scotland and England and hope the Horses Welcome scheme will encourage riders and families to bring their horses on holiday,” added Ann.
Ideas for the festival are always welcome and can be sent to British Horse Society development officer for Scotland Helene Mauchlen at H.Mauchlen@bhs.org.uk
The festival at a glance…
May 18 – Exhibition of Equestrian Art & Jewellery, Guided Ride from Nisbet, Learn To Horse Whisper with Peter Neilson
May 19 – Floors Castle Horse Trials
May 20 – Floors Castle Horse Trials, Marked Ride From Newcastleton, Les Amis d’Onno – Equestrian Cabaret
May 21 – Cross Country Schooling at Floors Castle with David Gatherer (BE Accredited Coach), Les Amis d’Onno – Jousting Practice, Guided Ride from Duns
May 22 – Guided Ride from West Linton, Les Amis d’Onno – Jousting Practice, Vaulting Display by Scottish Border Vaulters and Border Group RDA
May 23 – Guided Ride from Selkirk, Les Amis d’Onno – Jousting Practice, An Introduction to
Equitation Science by Gemma Pearson MRCVS
May 24 – My Donkey Is Not Just An Ass! Les Amis d’Onno – Jousting Practice, Dressage In Lightness with Sylvia Loch
May 25 – Guided Ride from Newtown St Boswells, Equine Car Boot Sale, Les Amis d’Onno – Jousting Practice, An Evening with Caspian Horses
May 26 – BHS (Borders) Grand Competition Day, An Evening with Heavy Horses
May 27 – Duke of Buccleuch’s FSC Lurcher, Terrier and All Variety Show, Kelso Races, Horse Logging
Full details of all, events at www.bordersfestival.horse