PERTH SET FOR RETURN OF GAELIC FESTIVAL
The Fair City is set to welcome thousands of visitors to the area when the Royal National Mod, Scotland 's premier festival of Gaelic language, music and culture returns to Perth after an absence of 24 years. The Royal National Mod 2004 will open in Perth on Friday 8th October and will see a number of events taking place in venues throughout the town.
Following the official opening in the City Hall, the first events will take place on Saturday 9th October and will include the Mod Shinty Cup Final, Instrumental competitions and the Hornpipe & Jig Piping competition in the evening. The Fiddlers Rally will also take place on Saturday evening in the City Hall.
Junior events continue on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th October, with the Mod Drama Finals taking place on Wednesday 13th October. Senior competitions also begin on Wednesday 13th October and will culminate on Friday 15th October with the premier choral competition for the Lovat & Tullibardine trophy.
Working in conjunction with the National organisers, the local organising committee for Perth Mod 2004 have been busy planning for the event which will attract competitors and visitors from throughout the UK and also from Ireland, Wales, Canada, the USA and Australia.
Key venues for Mod 2004 include Perth Theatre, City Hall, the Dewars Centre, Playhouse Cinema complex and the A K Bell Library Theatre as well as various churches and halls around Perth.
Blair Horse Trials
The Three Day Event is a comprehensive test of all-round ability of both horse and rider. The sport evolved from the requirements for a top class military charger - steadiness and elegance on parade, the ability to gallop across country in battle, and then to continue with duties after a strenuous day. These requirements have transformed in to the three modern phases of the sport - Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping.
Internationally, there are four levels of competition, rated by 'stars'. Blair plays host to competition on two levels - the CCI* caters for those, equine or human, entering their first three-day event, while the CCI*** attracts the more advanced combinations who are competing at the top level of the sport and may go on to greater international success. There are only three CCI**** level events in the world - Badminton and Burghley in Britain, and Kentucky in the USA.
The sport of eventing has significant roots in Perthshire - the first ever one-day event in Britain was run at Halliburton, near Blairgowrie, in Perthshire. The Blair Castle three-day event began in 1989, and has developed over the years to the three star and one star events which run today.
The event has grown considerably and is now a showcase for the best of Scottish equestrianism. It attracts entries from the best riders in the world, and is now firmly established as one of the top events on the international calendar.