Teenager Che named top Scot

Fear­less An­gus teenager Che Pa­ton is a Scot­tish cham­pion af­ter sweep­ing the boards at a re­cent com­pe­ti­tion. The car­riage driver, 14, was top of the tree at the Bri­tish Driv­ing So­ci­ety con­test. Pic­ture: Paul Smith.

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JANET THOM­SON jath­om­[email protected]­courier.co.uk

A fear­less An­gus teenager has swept the boards at na­tional level in a sport she took up only a year ago.

Che Pa­ton, 14, of Care­ston, near Brechin, was in tears when she learned she fin­ished Bri­tish Driv­ing So­ci­ety’s ju­nior points cham­pion for Scot­land.

The de­ter­mined third year Web­ster’s High School pupil has been so bit­ten by the bug she now has her own pony and is look­ing for­ward to next year’s se­ries, which be­gins in Fe­bru­ary.

She be­came hooked on car­riage driv­ing af­ter vol­un­teer­ing to help with the Shet­land ponies owned by Heather Gow of Pitscan­dly Farm, near For­far.

An ac­com­plished car­riage driver in her own right, Mrs Gow recog­nised Che’s pas­sion, skill and com­mit­ment and guided the teenager on her path to suc­cess.

Che said: “I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in horses and went along to help.

“I started car­riage driv­ing in Oc­to­ber 2017. I was taught how to tack up the horses with the car­riage and Mrs Gow showed me what com­mands to use.”

Che be­gan en­ter­ing com­pe­ti­tions all over Scot­land, tak­ing part in three sep­a­rate dis­ci­plines – long rein, dres­sage and cone race.

Once all the scores were tal­lied up, Che was crowned ju­nior points cham­pion, with Heather’s eight-yearold grand­daugh­ter Jemima Gow fin­ish­ing in run­ners-up spot.

Che added: “I en­tered a lot of shows all over Scot­land. My dad drives me to the com­pe­ti­tions and Mrs Gow takes the ponies.

“I never thought I would win, I was cry­ing when I found out.

“I’ve got my own pony now, a Gypsy cob called Tay. He’s two and a half years old and when he turns three I hope to start driv­ing with him as I want to ac­com­plish things with him.”

Mrs Gow said: “Che is young and en­thu­si­as­tic.

“She is small which suits my two Shet­land ponies. I have been help­ing her with her driv­ing skills along the way.

“She did well at a sum­mer show at Kil­gras­ton.”

Che’s proud dad Ged thanked Mrs Gow for nur­tur­ing his daugh­ter’s tal­ents.

He said: “Che has al­ways loved horses and when she heard Heather was need­ing some­one to help with the horses, she went along.

“She is at Pitscan­dly ev­ery other week­end and thor­oughly en­joys it. She has taken to car­riage driv­ing with flair.”

“I never thought I would win, I was cry­ing when I found out. CHE PA­TON

Pic­ture: Paul Smith.

Che Pa­ton, left, with her Scot­tish car­riage driv­ing tro­phy along­side Heather Gow and Heather’s grand­daugh­ter Jemima Gow, who was run­ner-up.

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