Equi-Ads interviews the man on our front cover – September Edition – Alasdair Govan. A qualified Vet from Montrose, Alasdair spends most of his time now training and driving his collection of horses. He competes in carriage driving with a Gelderlander and does turnout with his Clydesdales. Turnout varies from one horse; tandem and unicorn, up to teams of six. His driving career has been successful to date with many championships and rosettes the most recent was a 1st at Yorkshire.
He also helps wife Doreen in Sportack their tack and pet products shop.
What is your proudest achievement in competing to date?
“Despite winning Overall Champion at the The Royal Highland Show, that has to be getting my first ever red rosette when I was a wee boy”!
What is your next ambition in the equestrian world?
“I would really like to win Open Horse at a trials driving event”.
“|I love driving three heavies in a team at major shows such as RHAS, Yorkshire Trials Marathon, Three Counties, down to Dorset”.
When did you first get involved with horses?
“When I was about eight years old at a croft in Fionnphort (opposite Iona). We spent summers there and all the work was done by horse then. That is where I learned about using horses to work the soil. I later spent two years doing all my work on the farm by horse”.
Who was your first horse?
“That was Sara an Anglo-Arab”.
When did you get involved in driving?
Have you had a favourite horse and how did you meet?
“My favourite was Barney bought as a three year old. He could do anything including showing and working on land. He was an ideal horse and we won many ploughing matches with him”.
What is the most fulfilling achievement in your equestrian career so far?
“The highlight has to be driving my team of six at the Royal Highland Show”.
What is the most dangerous situation you have been in?
“Earlier this year when the horses took off and were unstoppable whilst carriage driving. I ended up with five ribs fractured and torn muscles”.
How many horses do you have responsibility for?
Who do you admire and why?
“The people who do menial jobs as we would not survive without them e.g. street sweepers”.
What is your pet hate?
Can you see yourself being involved with horses indefinitely?
“Yes I hope to, if I survive …must wear my hard hat!……So says my wife Doreen, or sign the papers!
What is your biggest worry about the way the industry is developing?
“I am worried about the indiscriminate breeding; there are too many foals bred from horses with poor conformation”.
What would you like to be doing in five years time?
“Really the same as I am doing now”.
If you could visit another yard, which would it be?
“There are several of my peers in turnouts and top trials drivers that I would love to visit”.
What is the best lesson you have learned through being involved with horses?
“Never take chances”!