Saddle up for Fourth of July fund-raiser

Pictured, from left are Lisa McKinnie, Ria and Jess Probst and Simon Harbord.
Pictured, from left are Lisa McKinnie, Ria and Jess Probst and Simon Harbord.

The Wild West will come to the north east in July when local charity SaddleUp Ranch will host its own Independence Day celebration.

‘Scotland’s Americana’ will be the first event of its kind for the area and will help to raise money for the organisation, which rescues and rehabilitates horses.

It aims to bring a taste of the USA to Angus and celebrate America’s Independence with a variety of attractions set to appeal to all ages. There will be Western riding displays, American classic cars and motorcycles, line dancing, a variety of American and vintage-themed trade stands and competitions, along with a line-up of music performers ready to wow the crowds.

Founded formally in 2014 by Jessica Probst and Lisa McKinnie, the group started rescuing and rehabilitating horses eight years ago, many of which had developed behavioural issues due to ill-treatment or poor ownership.

Working with horses is thought to have a therapeutic effect, helping with stress relief, and the group also offers workshops for humans to learn about such diverse aspects of horse management as interpreting body language to practical equine husbandry.

SaddleUp Ranch works closely with councils and community schemes to open up opportunities for adults and children from all walks of life so that they can experience hands-on work with horses.

Lisa said: “Working with people who wouldn’t normally have access to horses is hugely satisfying, there is a deeper connection to be found and it brings a new perspective to a person’s life, physically and emotionally.”

The group is run entirely by volunteers and the money raised from the event will help to improve facilities and expand on the service offered.

Jessica said: “We didn’t expect the event to attract so much attention, it has something for everyone whether you like horses, hot rods or country music. It would be fantastic if we could raise the amount we need for the all-weather school and give the public a day to remember.”

Scotland’s Americana will be held at Padanaram (DD8 1PD) and opens to the public at high noon on Saturday, July 4. Tickets cost £10 (under-12s free) and can be purchased from