Rigby sponsors The Fred Taylor Memorial for Working Hill Ponies for a second year

London gunmaker John Rigby & Co. is delighted to sponsor the sixth annual Fred Taylor Memorial for Working Hill Ponies for a second year with a prize worth £12,000, at the 30th GWCT Scottish Game Fair.

Organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Association of Deer Management Groups, the free-to-enter competition is held in memory of Fred Taylor, who was the headstalker on Invermark Estate in Glenesk for over 30 years, and a great enthusiast of working hill ponies.

Following the success of last year’s event, we are hoping to set a new record in entries, with ponies tacked up in their deer saddles or game panniers, and ghillies dressed in their estate tweeds, parading the main arena during the event on Sunday 1 July at 1:30pm.

Selected by a judging panel, the winning estate will receive one of Rigby’s much celebrated, award-winning Highland Stalker rifles in .275 Rigby, which last year was awarded to Eric Starke, the ghillie at Glen Prosen Estate in Angus, who was showing Mia, a five-year old mare. Commenting on the win he said: “There was a very high standard of ponies being shown. I’ve been a ghillie on and off for around 30 years, and I knew Fred Taylor, so it’s a huge honour to win. This event is very important, and I hope that it will encourage more youngsters to have a greater understanding and inspire them to work with hill ponies.”

Hailed as a traditional deer stalking rifle, the new Highland Stalker is inspired by the smaller calibre rifles Rigby made at the start of the 20th century. The rifle’s striking slim lines and rounded pistol grip shape gives it a very traditional feel, plus its lightweight frame makes it ideal for the hill.

To add a touch of personalisation, the rifle will also be hand engraved with the estate, pony and winning ghillie’s name on a special silver shield inlaid into the stock, plus receive a wood upgrade making the top prize worth a staggering £12,000.

Marc Newton, managing director of Rigby, commented: “It’s fantastic that Rigby is involved with this celebration of all the work that goes into managing deer on Scottish estates. The standard was set high at last year’s event, so we are excited to see how the entrants will up the ante this forthcoming year.”

To qualify for entry, each pony must be working on the estate during the season. For more details on how to enter, contact 01738 554826.