Games Day Report – 2015

What a splendid day we had this year at the Abernethy Highland Games; dry, mild, light breeze – ideal conditions for the many athletes who took part in The Friendly Games. Only when a little rain came on at 4.30 did spectators scuttle for shelter

Attendance and Competitors up on previous years

Attendance was up on last year, with overall numbers estimated at around 3,400. Games Chairman Neil Sutherland was particularly happy with the level of athletics and heavy entries, as well as Highland Dancing, where 96 keen dancers from all over the Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Fife and from as far afield as Australia battled it out on the boards; Kathryn Attlier from down under being awarded several of the highly prized trophies.

Massed Pipes and Drums

Over 150 musicians entertained the crowd in a thrilling display of massed pipes and drums; 8 bands marched round the field three times during the afternoon, a sight which drew gasps of admiration from an appreciative crowd.

Games Chieftain

Major General Seymour Monro

Games Chieftain: Major General Seymour Monro

Major General Seymour Monro, Games Chieftain, who also happens to be President of Forres Pipe Band, was gracious and fulsome in his praise for Elgin Pipe Band, as he presented them with the Pipe Band Challenge Shield.
In his opening address the Chieftain commended the community spirit, commitment and enthusiasm of all the volunteers making the Abernethy Games so popular & successful.

Abernethy – The Friendly games

A lively and hard fought contest in the senior piping still allowed for ‘the friendly games’ to demonstrate it is just that. When one entrant in the Jig just could not recall the tune he was to play, other competitors sang it for him. He then took to the piping board once again and resumed playing!

RSPB Abernethy Forest 10 miles Road Race

A popular event in the running calendar, this was once again well supported with 76 runners toeing the line, well protected from the blustery conditions by the shelter of the forest. This year’s field was truly international with runners from America, Italy and Switzerland taking part. It was a real family affair too, with Hunter Bog Trotters, David Wright taking the men’s honours in a very commendable time of 58:10 and his wife Megan Wright taking the ladies category, and 9th overall, in 67:05. The winner for 1st Vet and the new Holt Naylor trophy was won by Mark Raistrick from Aberdeenshire in 4th place in a time of 63: 03, and the 1st Lady vet was Susie Hubbard who travelled up from Ayr. For the second consecutive year Abernethy Trust won the Team prize. Prizes for the Local Strathspey residents went to Nethy Bridge’s Brendan Parke and in the Ladies it was Aviemore’s Lorna Adam.

Heavies

Conan Quinn instructs juniors in the Caber

Conan Quinn instructs juniors in the Caber

15 heavies competed in four events, with three ladies taking part in the junior heavy 15-16 age class. In the local heavy events Conon Quinn (Nethy Bridge) took overall first, winning the Hugh Fraser Challenge Cup, as well as winning the junior heavy 17-19 year age category for the A S Grant memorial Trophy. The open heavy competition was won convincingly by Jamie Gunn of Halkirk, picking up the J&B Scotch Whisky Trophy.
Five pipe bands competed in the Tug o War with Dufftown winning the event.

Athletics

For the second year running there was a strong field in the athletics competition with seventy eight entrants. The younger age categories were very popular with 24 entrants for the 100yds boys 12yrs and under and 10 for the girls 12yrs and under races.

Children’s Races

Three-Legged Race

Three-Legged Race

Once again the morning programme of kids fun events proved very popular, with the entry in the wheelbarrow race necessitating 14 heats! 6 youngsters tried their hand at tossing a specially sized caber, under the guidance of local junior heavy Conan Quinn; let’s hope they were enthused enough to continue and form the next generation of heavy athletes!

Other Games Day Reports:

2014 :: 2013 ::