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Issue 13 - Horses and hipflasks

Whisky Magazine Issue 13
December 2000


This article is 17 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Horses and hipflasks

The distinctly 'non-horsey' Marcin Miller dons his wellies in Pitlochry for a spot of whisky fuelled equestrianism.

The showcase for the best of Scottish equestrianism is the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials. Nothing prepares you for it. To the non-horsey of us, the idea of equestrianism, and particularly three day eventing, suggests the painfully one-dimensional fictional world of Jilly Cooper. The reality is, fortunately, more exciting (and less predictable) than the prose offered by the queen of the embossed cover.

Morrison Bowmore has sponsored the event held in late summer for the last 10 years and since 1996 have been the major sponsors. The event takes place below the impressive Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Athol (the only individual allowed to retain a private army in Britain), and is well worth a visit. According to Brian Morrison, "sponsorship of the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trails has been particularly rewarding, given its heritage and reputation as one of the leading three day equestrian events in Europe. The satellite television coverage has certainly enhanced Bowmore's International branding and that of the Blair Castle event."

There is an overwhelming sense of exhilaration seeing a rider successfully negotiate his horse down a steep, muddy slope against the clock. This is only matched by the vicarious pain felt watching a rider fall from a horse travelling at high speed over a series of towering, immovable, wooden jumps. As an observer you can ease the pain with a large pull on your hipflask or make your way over to the Bowmore tasting t...

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