Annual Rowanlea trek beats icy conditions

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THE HORSES and riders from the Rowanlea Stables in Barry didn’t break with their 40-year tradition and held their annual New Year trek on Sunday.

Around 77 riders ranging from seven to 70 years old took the stable’s horses on a route around Barry and Carnoustie to mark the start of 2011.

The Rowanlea trek, which always takes place on January 2, first started about four decades ago, and the horses and their riders have enjoyed a New Year outing every single year since.

Stable owner David Conchie said it was touch and go over whether the event would actually take place due to the recent ice and snow but was delighted it finally subsided in time for the outing.

He told the Guide & Gazette: “Since my father started the January 2 New Year trek we have never missed a year, although in the past few weeks it had looked like this year was going to be the first that it would have been cancelled.

“We always think that one year it really will be too bad and we thought this would be it, but luckily the weather eased and we were able to go ahead.”

This year the horses took a slightly different path with them enjoying a full three-hour trek before returning to Rowanlea.

And Mr Conchie added that this was due to some areas on the traditional route being still covered with ice.

He explained: “We did go a different way this year but it seemed to work well and we were able to stay out for a good three hours.

“It was great to see all the people taking part and enjoying themselves still all of these years after it first started.

“My father started the trek as a way of marking the New Year and I’m sure we will be doing the same in 2012, weather permitting as always.”