Riders of all ages enjoy New Year outing

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Rowanlea Riding School enjoyed one of their biggest New Year treks to date on their annual January 2 outing.

The tradition, which was started some 49 years ago by the father of the current stables owner, David Conchie, saw 87 horses and their riders follow a route between Carnoustie and Monifieth on Thursday.

The participants enjoyed mild temperatures and sunshine, although previous outings have taken place in icy conditions.

Since the trek started it has taken place every year and Mr Conchie revealed that the numbers were only slightly down this year on the previous event’s total.

The horses and riders followed a route from the riding school at Barry across the A930 Carnoustie to Dundee road up to Woodhill.

They then headed for Grange and then along to Barry Mill before going past Ravensby Hall and Pitskelly Farm.

The riders then took their mounts in to the Barry Buddon ranges before returning to the stables via Monifieth.

Mr Conchie said he was delighted with the huge turnout which ensured that the event was a great success.

He told the Guide & Gazette: “We have over 100 horses at the stables, but not all the owners want to take them out at New Year. However, on this occasion we had 87 riders, split almost equally between youngsters and the more mature.

“It was a great success again, and nobody came off this year and nothing went wrong.”

The route covers about nine miles and takes over four hours.

Mr Conchie said that the event was established by his late father, also David Conchie, when the stables moved from Dundee to Barry in 1965.

He extended thanks to the Tayside Division of Police Scotland for the help given, explaining it would be dangerous for a large group of almost 100 horses to go on the main roads.

He went on: “We keep off the main roads as far as possible. We are also lucky to get permission from the Ministry of Defence to cross Barry Buddon Camp.”

His parting shot was: “Roll on next year.”