Cream rises to the top as winners announced at horsescotland awards

A great night celebrating Scotland’s hard working equestrian community at the horsescotland awards

EQY’s photographer Angus Blackburn was there to capture the night which is a celebration and reward that recognises all of the hard work of Scotland’s equestrian coaches, volunteers, performers, clubs, equine breeders, the equestrian business community, employees, photographers and those that have made outstanding contributions to the equestrian community in Scotland.

This year horsecotland received a record number of nominations ranged across the entire Scottish equestrian community. All the nominations were considered and, after much deliberation from our voting panel, the nominees were scored against and the winners decided. The Equestrian Photo of the Year was voted from six shortlisted images and was voted for by the public via Facebook.

The hugely deserving award winners were announced at the sparkling ceremony held at the Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, Cumbernauld on Friday 3 March:

Above: Equestrian Business of the Year went to Rowanlea Riding School, pictured are (left to right) are George Glen (Wades Print), Irene Conchie, Alan Garrett, Doddie Weir


Above; Equestrian Photo of the Year was awarded to Emma Cheape. Left to right – Erik Mackechnie (horsescotland Performance Programme Coach), Emma Cheape, Doddie Weir


Above; Employee of the Year was Lucy Moss. Left to right – Doddie Weir, Lucy Moss, Colin Sykes (horsescotland Director)


Above: Equine Breeder of the Year went to the Baird family, Whitefield Stud. Left to right – Doddie Weir, Alan Baird, Jane Gilchrist (horsescotland Director), Sandy Baird


Above; Club of the Year went to Scottish Academies – British Showjumping. From left to right – Doddie Weir, Gillian Beattie, Lucy Moss, Grant Turnbull (horsescotland Director)

Above: Volunteer of the Year went to Maureen and Neil McLeod. Left to right – Doddie Weir, Maureen McLeod, Neil McLeod, Sara Smith (horsescotland Volunteer)

Above: Youth Coach Of The Year Kirsty McWilliam. Left to right – Patrick Print (horsescotland Chair), Kirsty McWilliam, Doddie Weir


Above: Performance Coach of the Year was Gail Smith. Left  to right – John White (horsescotland Director), Gail Smith, Doddie Weir

Above: Participation Coach of the Year was Sandra Low-Mitchell, Left to right – Helene Mauchlen (National Manager for BHS Scotland), Sandra Low-Mitchell, Doddie Weir


Above: Performer of the Year went to Robyn Smith, whose award was accepted on her behalf by Gail Smith. Left to right – Doddie Weir, Gail Smith, Andy McSweeney (sportscotland Performance Lead)


Above: The Lifetime Achievement award went to Jacky Low-Mitchell and her late husband Dugald. Left to right – Patrick Print (horsescotland Chair), Jacky Low-Mitchell, Doddie Weir


Above: During the evening a Gillian Elliott, horsescotland Director was also presented with her UKCC Level 4 qualification after becoming the first Scottish Coach to achieve this level when she completed her course in November 2016. Left to right – Patrick Print (horsescotland Chair), Gillian Elliott (horsescotland Director)


Above: Rugby legend Doddie Weir was the keynote speaker for the evening and had some fun with his height among other things.


Doddie Weir, Scottish Rugby Legend was the keynote speaker for the evening.  He spoke about his experiences with horses and the fact that before he took up rugby he wanted to ride for a living. Recognisable in his tartan suit he kept the audience entertained with his anecdotes about his rugby days and his own physical charecterisitcs, comparing his height to many of those in the room.

Patrick Print OBE FBHS, Chair of horsescotland, summarised the awards ceremony when saying:

“The horsescotland awards 2017 were a fantastic opportunity for the equestrian community to come together and celebrate Scotland’s substantial equestrian success over the last 12 months. I would like to thank everyone who came along and made it a real night to remember and offer my sincere thanks to our sponsors Wades Print and our principal partner sportscotland – the national agency for sport, Doddie Weir for a fantastic speech, as well as the new EQY Magazine for providing a photographer.

horsescotland will continue to drive forward a number of exciting programmes and initiatives in the year ahead and will work closely with its member bodies and key stakeholders to put in place a world-class system for Scottish equestrianism that ensures the welfare of the horse.”

Above: Patrick Print, Chair of horsescotland

Billy Bell, Chief Operating Officer of horsescotland, added:

“Much of the success of our riders, drivers and vaulters is down to the quality of the coaches and the commitment of the thousands of volunteers whose efforts are invaluable. The horsescotland awards create the perfect stage to recognise and reward the contribution of Scotland’s equestrian coaches, volunteers, performers, clubs, equine breeders and equestrian business community.”

Above: Emma Cheape’s beautiful ‘Equestrian Photo of the Year’ – as voted for on Facebook.


  • Equestrian Business of the Year      Rowanlea Riding School

  • Equestrian Photo of the Year:          Emma Cheape
  • Employee of the Year:                      Lucy Moss
  • Equine Breeder of the Year:             The Baird Family, The Whitefield Stud
  • Club of the Year:                               Scottish Academies – British Showjumping
  • Volunteer of the Year:                       Maureen and Neil McLeod
  • Youth Coach of the Year:                  Kirsty McWilliam
  • Performance Coach of the Year        Gail Smith
  • Participation Coach of the Year         Sandra Low-Mitchell
  • Performer of the Year:                       Robyn Smith
  • Lifetime Achievement                        Jacky and late husband Dugald Low-Mitchell
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