Scotland’s number one National Hunt trainer, Lucinda Russell, owner of Arlary House Stables was presented with the Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Scottish Jump Trainers’ Championship Award 2011/12 by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, at Saturday’s Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
The official whisky partner for Scottish Racing, Isle of Skye Whisky also sponsored the high profile Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse.
The Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Scottish Champion Hurdle trophy was presented to winning jockey, Robert Thornton, Simon Munir (owner) and Alan King (trainer) of winning horse, Raya Star. The award was presented by Edith Russell, wife of Ian Macleod Distillers Chairman Peter Russell, owner of Isle of Skye Scotch Whisky.
Scotland’s leading National Hunt yard, Arlary House has earned a strong reputation, sending out winners the length and breadth of Britain, from Perth to Cheltenham. It has been a record-breaking season for Arlary House, having over 55 race wins, including Brindisi Breeze, who won the Albert Bartlett 3 mile Novice Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival race – the first Scottish Cheltenham winner for 10 years. Brindisi Breeze is owned by Sandy Seymour from St Andrews, was ridden by Campbell Gillies from Haddington and trained by Lucinda Russell, both of whom are sponsored by Isle of Skye Scotch Whisky.
Lucinda Russell owner of Arlary House Stables and winner of the Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Scottish Jump Trainers’ Championship Award 2011/12, said: “I’m really proud to have won this prestigious award. The hard work of the Arlary team and support from everyone, including the Scottish public and especially Isle of Skye Whisky has been incredible.”
Iain Weir, Marketing Director for Ian Macleod Distillers, commented: “We’re delighted that Lucinda Russell has won this year’s Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Scottish Jump Trainers’ Championship Award.”
“This is the second year that we’ve sponsored the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse. The event’s values of tradition and excellence sit neatly with the exceptional qualities Isle of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky possesses. Both are in perfect synergy in terms of their Scottish roots, passionate commitment to achieving excellence and determination to be the best.”
The Scottish Champion Hurdle was first run in 1966 when the winner was Blue Venom. It was awarded Grade 2 status in 1991 and was run on the opening day of the two day Scottish Grand National meeting until 1994 when it moved to the Saturday.
Isle of Skye Whisky is also the official Whisky Partner of Scottish Racing which encompasses all five of Scotland’s racecourses – Ayr, Hamilton Park, Kelso, Musselburgh and Perth. The sponsorship is part of the brand development for Isle of Skye, raising the profile of the award-winning Blended Scotch throughout Scotland’s racecourses and beyond.