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Moy holds memories of epic Gun Dog Scurry win for RNLI’s Frances

Moy Country Fair, taking place at Moy Estate near Inverness next month on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August, is gearing up to support one of the event’s nominated charities, the RNLI, who are celebrating their 200th anniversary year.


For one member of the charities team, Moy is an event that holds a lifetime of special memories.

Frances Beveridge is a Community Manager at the RNLI. Based in Inverness, she covers the north of Scotland, from Moray to Oban and Barra. She is no stranger to the Fair, with the annual event holding a very special place in Frances’ heart.


“I used to go to Moy every summer with my mum, dad and brother,” explains Frances. “My grandparents used to go as well. We didn’t really travel away for summer holidays, but holidayed closer to home and Moy was something we looked forward too every year.”


Frances’ father, the late Lachlan Angus, was a gun dog breeder who was heavily involved with the Fair for many years, something Frances has many precious memories of helping out at.


Then, one year she went one step further with the encouragement of her dad.


“When I was about 11 or 12, Dad suggested I took part in the Gun Dog Scurry with our brown and white spaniel, Mini. I’d never done anything like that before, but, for a bit of fun, I entered.”

At the time, there wasn’t a junior event, so Frances was competing against adults. After completing the Scurry, Frances had the fastest time and throughout the day, she and her dad would look to see if anyone had beaten her score.


“It was getting close to the 5pm deadline and nobody had beaten my time yet. To the shock of everyone, I actually won! Dad asked for my age to be added next to my name on the trophy because I was just a little girl. It was pretty amazing to have beaten all the adults!”

Lachlan passed away suddenly 19 years ago and, for a time, Frances found it too painful to attend the Fair. She never competed in the Gun Dog Scurry again, but now, over 30 years later, she enjoys going back to watch with her own children.


Frances believes that the Moy Country Fair is special because it holds so many memories for people who go every year.


“The Fair is something that continues to be enjoyed through the generations,” says Frances. “Generations of my family before me attended and now I go with my own kids. I hope they’ll take their own children too, bringing my family’s connection to Moy full circle.”


Celebrating its 200th anniversary throughout 2024, the RNLI will have a strong presence at the Moy Country Fair this year with volunteers from a number of local Lifeboat Stations, including Invergordon, Loch Ness and Kessock, coming along to meet visitors.


This will include hosting a special Lifejacket Clinic to offer advice to the public from RNLI volunteers on how to maintain and safety check lifejackets before use. A first for the event, the clinic will offer an insight into the vast knowledge of RNLI volunteers who have saved an incredible 146,277 lives since the RNLI was founded in 1824.


Visitors will also be able to experience ‘float to live’ water safety demonstrations, pick up limited-edition RNLI souvenirs and the RNLI’s very own mascot, Stormy Stan, will be making an appearance which is sure to delight the children in attendance.


As ever, Moy Country Fair, has a packed roster of activities, exhibitors and performers for visitors, young and old, to enjoy. As well as the traditional main ring activities including Highland dancing, gundog handling and fishing demonstrations, pet parade and much-enjoyed terrier racing, the popular range of field sports will also be back from clay pigeon and musket shooting to the fly-fishing challenge.


For younger field-sports enthusiasts, the Junior MacNab Challenge is back. Hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the popular event invites children to participate in clay pigeon shooting, air rifle shooting and fly-fishing challenge.


Beyond the traditional events the Fair is renowned for, Moy will see the return of axe-throwing and archery from A.C.E Target Sports and BMX stunts and tricks from Savage Skills.


For foodies, there will be a Highland Food and Drink Trail featuring nine street food vendors from the local area alongside live music acts throughout each day. The Food Tent and Cookery Theatre will offer visitors a journey into Scotland’s Larder, celebrating the very best produce from the local area. Cookery Presenter, AGA Specialist, Masterchef Contestant and Recipe Writer, Na Hansell will be hosting a series of daily cookery demonstrations that are to be supported by local company, Bonk & Co.


James Campbell, Chairman of the Moy Country Fair Committee, said:

“It’s set to be another exciting two days for our visitors at this year’s Moy Country Fair with a diverse range of activities, performances and exhibitors for everyone to enjoy. We are particularly proud to be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the RNLI across the Fair. Water safety is something we always highlight, alongside the RNLI, so this is a great opportunity to raise awareness and inform our visitors.”


Moy Country Fair is a non-profit event that look to support a number of charitable causes each year. As well as the RNLI, multiple other charities will be in attendance including Adopt A Child, Gamekeepers Welfare Trust, Therapet, Lyme Disease UK, SCAA, Veteran’s Foundation, Unique Fundraising – Breast Cancer, Blythswood Care, Highland Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and St John Scotland.

 

Tickets are now on sale for the event which drew thousands to Moy Estate for the event last summer. Tickets cost £17 for adults when pre-booking online, or will cost £20 per adult at the gate on the day. All children aged under 16 years of age can access Moy Country Fair for free.




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