At the Centre Operator Exam taken by chief examiner for the Society, Liz Simpson, four candidates were successful. The numbers taking this examination is very small compared to the other examinations as candidates need a good business brain, be experienced in employment laws and experience of running a riding centre over a period of time. Some years we do not hold an exam and this year having four candidates sitting it at the same time and passing was very unusual.
Our first two successful candidates come from Strachur and they run Wilder Ways. Nikki Dayton and Cara Gelati both enjoyed adventure riding with their own horses and started the business as a guiding service for people with their own horses. This soon progressed into providing mounts for riders and having a very quick baptism of fire regarding legislation and the problems associated with running a riding centre. The business has had a very busy season and they have increased the number of horses and also employed Amie Latona who sat her Ride Leader with Sarah Basford on the same day. The centre was approved in early 2017 and both Nikki and Cara have worked extremely hard to complete their exams in between everything else they have been doing.
Winter may be coming in fast but this picture of one of their rides shows Scotland at her best and we wish them many days like this to come. Our other two candidates travelled down from Highlands Unbridled up in Tain. The centre has been going through a rough patch lately and updating their qualifications to Centre Operator has been the end of a long struggle to get back on track. Congratulations to Jan O'Neil and her business partner Katie Shepherd on passing their examination. Photograph to follow.