Winner of the first running of the Fred Taylor Memorial Trophy for Working Stalking Ponies held at the 25th GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace on 7 July was Victor of Alltnacailleach (6 years old), from the Garrogie Estate, Inverness-shire, with ghillie Christina Ellis.
10 ponies took part, all immaculately turned out, making the job of judge Peter Fraser, former head stalker on Invercauld Estate, an exceptionally tough one.
Ponies in the competition came from Balmoral Estate, Blair Castle, Garrogie, Invermark, Kinlochuichart, Tulchan of Glenisla, and Reay Forest.
The competition was organized by The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Association of Deer Management Groups in memory of Fred Taylor, who was the highly respected head stalker on Invermark Estate, Angus, for more than 20 years. Fred died from cancer last year just before he was due to retire, and devote more time to breeding working ponies.
The trophy was presented by Fred’s wife Anne.
Adam Smith, Director, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Scotland, said:
This was a wonderful spectacle. We have never had ten ponies in our main ring before, all kitted out for the hill, all with stalkers and ghillies looking superb. This was this a brilliant educational exhibit, with working ponies still very much a part of game management in Scotland today and, with the sun shining brightly, a real tribute to Fred.
Richard Cooke, Chairman of the Association of Deer Management Groups said:
This competition, which we hope will now run every year at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, will have brought to the public attending the event a part of rural life in Scotland that they may never have seen. All credit and thanks to those who entered for supporting it, some of whom travelled long distances to be there – they could all have won! And many congratulations especially to the 2013 Champions Victor and Christina.