AN equestrian festival near Selkirk has raised more than £600 for a local cancer charity.

A total of 84 ponies from as far afield as West Linton and Eyemouth recently competed at the Arpal Mountain & Moorland Show.

Hosted by the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre all competitors wore a hint of lavender in support of the Lavender Touch.

And this week former Olympian Ian Stark and his wife, Jeni, handed over a cheque to the charity for £614.

Jenni told us: “So many people’s lives are touched by cancer these days, whether it is someone going through diagnosis and treatment themselves or supporting a family member or friend.

"We are incredibly lucky here in the Borders to have not only the medical support provided by the NHS, but also to have access to the Lavender Touch and all the products and treatments that this important charity provides.

"We were honoured to be asked to participate in the fundraiser and would like to pass on our thanks to all our participants who donated, as we know every penny will be going to help the people who need it.”

Throughout the Arpal Mountain & Moorland Show riders and spectators visited the Lavender Touch stall to learn about the charity and buy products.

A guess-the-pony-name, silent auction, raffle and donations resulted in the £614 being raised.

Alex Moffat from the Lavender Touch said: “Since being established 14 years ago, we have supported hundreds of families in the Borders going through the difficult journey of cancer.

“Our team of qualified therapists work as part of the holistic care team that provides support for cancer patients throughout the Scottish Borders. Not only are they highly skilled in the treatments they offer - whether that is aromatherapy, reflexology or massage - they have also received specialist training that enables them to be particularly sensitive to the needs of people with cancer.

“We also develop and sell a range of aromatherapy based products that people can use in their own homes to support their health and wellbeing."

Anyone with a cancer diagnosis is eligible to be referred to the Lavender Touch.

To find out more, visit: or speak to a healthcare professional e.g. doctor, cancer care nurse, occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

Information is also available from the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service at the Borders General Hospital.

Alex added: “Every day across the Borders, these treatments and products are helping to alleviate some of the side effects experienced by cancer patients such as insomnia, muscle aches and pains and anxiety.

"However, none of this would be possible without the kind donations we receive, with each one being vitally important in helping us to continue our work.

"We are enormously grateful to everyone who contributed at the Mountain & Moorland Show and thank them for their generosity.”