A quartet of judges will be tasked with assessing the horse entries at next month’s Scottish Agricultural Show.
The free online event, which takes place on July 31, will feature a range of competitions for horses, cattle, sheep and goats.
It is hosted by The Courier and The Press & Journal in partnership with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), and with support from main sponsor EQ Accountants.
The horse section features eight sections – Clydesdales; Highlands; Shetlands; Mixed Mountain & Moorland Large & Small Breeds (excluding Highland & Shetland) of any age and any sex; Riding Pony/Hunter Pony of any age or sex, but not exceeding 153cm at maturity; Hunters of any age or sex; pure-bred, part-bred or Anglo Arab of any age or sex; and coloured native/cob/traditional non-native/ any other breeds of any age or sex.
The native horse sections – Clydesdales, Highlands and Shetlands – will be judged by well-known Shetland Pony breeder Harry Sleigh.
Mr Sleigh, who runs the Wells Stud at St John’s Wells, Fyvie, is no stranger to the show circuit having lifted several championship titles at shows including last week’s Royal Highland Showcase.
The mixed mountain and moorland, pure-bred, part-bred or Anglo, and coloured native/cob/traditional non-native/any other breed sections will be judged by Perthshire rider Rose Macpherson.
Ms Macpherson, who has produced Highland Ponies to show at major events and evented to International Advanced level, encouraged entries and said: “I am hoping to find a champion with presence and star quality that I wouldn’t mind having in my own stable.”
Meanwhile, the Riding Pony/Hunter Pony section will be judged by Angus rider Jane Smith.
She said: “I will be looking for horses who are correctly put together and move freely. Manners are very important as well. The icing on the cake is a horse that has star quality.”
Lastly, the Hunters will be judged by Angus rider Loraine Young, who said: “I look for a sound horse with good conformation, quality and free light movement.”