Man up and take part in Man v Horse event!
These are some bonkers outdoors events held in Scotland – and this Man versus Horse race has to be up there! On Sunday, April 21 dozens of horses and their riders will line up above Loch Ness against a similar number of runners in the region’s second annual 26km Man vs Horse Challenge.
Starting from the Whitebridge Hotel the runners will be piped out at 11am and the horses will set off in staggered starts. The race follows a linear route, which covers sections of the Trail of the Seven Lochs and the South Loch Ness Trail.
Competitors will climb up the challenging “Corkscrew” beside the crag of Dun Deardail before tackling the “Fair Haired Lad’s Pass”, which will lead them on a dramatic descent to Loch Ness.
The race will finish at the home of the hosts, Loch Ness Riding, at Drummond Farm in Dores. Horses will be vetted to make sure they are in good shape at the finish and runners as well as riders will be restored with tea and cakes.
A prize giving will see the Jacobite Warrior perpetual trophy presented to the fastest overall competitor. The winners in each class will receive a keepsake quaich and medals and rosettes will be presented to all runners and riders.
The event will be run under the auspices of the South Loch Ness Access Group, which is affiliated to the British Horse Society’s Bridleways Group.
Organiser Candy Cameron of Loch Ness Riding explained: “Last year’s event was really successful, and we were delighted at the encouragement we received to organise another this year.
“There’s no reason why a human can’t win the race this year. A horse is definitely faster on the flat but the route has plenty of steep hills and the horses will slow down over these stages.
“The event is a unique opportunity for people to discover the lesser known side of the loch as the route takes in a variety of terrain and scenery including farm tracks, forestry roads, open moorland and hill trails, so it’s exceptionally scenic… and, moreover, it has the iconic Loch Ness as a backdrop.”
The race will be run under rules similar to those of endurance riding, with riders needing to submit their horses to veterinary examinations. Horses must be shod or booted for the duration of the event.
Places for runners and riders are limited to 50 and 30 respectively and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
The entry fee for both runners and riders is £10 at the time of placing an entry plus a minimum of £20 in sponsorship to be paid on the day of the event.
50% of all profits (including sponsorship) will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust as the event’s chosen charity this year, and the other 50% will go to the South Loch Ness Access Group to help continue its work in the area.