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THE 44th annual Peebles Highland Games was hailed a “big success” by Chairman Chris Patterson as visitors flocked to Haylodge Park.

For the first time the schedule contained a malt whisky and Scottish gin tasting experience and it proved to be a popular addition to the itinerary.

Chris told us: “It went really well and we were quite worried by the weather, but the rain managed to keep off until about quarter past five.

“All of our competitions were a big success, but one of the ones that stood out was the malt whisky and gin tasting event.

“It was organised by committee member Paul Beaumont’s son Luke and it was successful. It’s something we’ll be continuing next year.”

The event started with the Cheftain’s Parade from the Tontine Hotel and was followed by Highland dancing, the heavy events competition and the Haggis hurling, before closing with the Pipe Band street parade.

Kenny Macpherson had the honours of being Chieftain this year and Chris said he was the perfect candidate for the job.

“It was really nice for Kenny because he’s served on the committee for so long and everyone knows him really well. I think he’s been on now for over 30 years, so that was a real highlight.

“We also have to thank everyone who was involved and helped us prepare the field for the show.

“There’s only half a dozen or so committee members, so we can be a bit stretched at times. But we have to thank the Beaumont’s particularly Jack, Paul and Luke as they came up from Bradford to help out.”

Chris also said he would like to see more people get involved with the games to keep it a major part of the Peebles calender.

He added: “The event can only thrive if there’s people there to make it thrive. It really was a great event and was just as good as normal. 
“We get a lot of tourists in Peebles so it’s nice when they come along, but we also want to see as many local people as possible.”