The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 3 October 2008

South Ayrshire Council supports young golfers

THE 2008 golf season for junior golfers in South Ayrshire that has just finished has seen young golfers achieving great things.

In April this year all P5 pupils were invited to attend coaching throughout the summer months at various facilities in South Ayrshire, with more than 140 children attending on a regular basis. Several of the 37 girls who took part golfed at Maybole and are now in a position to return cards and receive a handicap.

All the children who took part have been invited to receive refresher training during the winter months at Ayr Golf Centre, 35 eager youngsters have already signed up. All the children involved in the clubgolf programmes during 2008 will be invited to return in 2009.

Councillor Margaret Toner (pictured above) is Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Portfolio Carrier for Community Services. She said: “The junior golf programme just gets bigger and better and the young golfers are so enthusiastic.

“Due to the success of the South Ayrshire Junior Golf Action Plan, a South Ayrshire Junior Golf Club to accommodate the junior golfers that cannot be accommodated in other clubs is going to be established. The South Ayrshire Junior Golf Club will be affiliated to the Scottish Ladies Golf Association and the Scottish Golf Association and members will be able to obtain a handicap.

“I would like to wish all the young golfers well, I am sure that they will inspire others to take up golf.”

Plans are being made to hold eight South Ayrshire Junior Golf Club (SAJGC) competitions next year for various standards of golfer. Some events will be over nine holes from forward tees while others will be over 18 holes from existing tees.

The official launch of the Club will take place on Sunday 29 March 2009. The SAJGC also has a website that will keep all members up to date with fixtures and news.

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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

South Ayrshire Council employee Colin Duthie breaks world record

SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL employee Colin Duthie was one of a team of 36 manual wheelchair users who have successfully achieved a world record by pulling a Boeing 757 110 metres along a runway at Lasham Airfield.

The British Disabled Flying Association (BDFA), who provide opportunities in aviation for disabled people, invited Colin to take part in the world record attempt after hearing about him reaching the top of Ben Nevis earlier this year in a wheelchair. Colin (pictured above) was the only person from Scotland to be invited to take part in the event.

Speaking afterwards, Colin Duthie said: “It was a very exciting event, and the success of the team will shortly be confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records. The challenge took place in the wind and rain, and it took a lot of hard work and determination to achieve our goal. The crowd of over 2,500 people who came to watch gave us great encouragement, and there was a great atmosphere.

“The event clearly demonstrated that even tasks that seem impossible can be achieved with teamwork and a shared vision. I will be giving presentations on behalf of the Council to schoolchildren and other groups about my experience, and I am sure that it will enable me to foster positive attitudes and perceptions about what people with disabilities can achieve.

“I would like to thank everyone in the Council and others who sponsored me, the funds will be put to very good use. To date I have raised nearly a £1,000 and am still collecting sponsorship pledges.”

The team (pictured above) pulled the 57 tonne Boeing 757 along the runway to demonstrate what amazing things people who use wheelchairs can achieve. As part of the challenge those taking part are asked people to sponsor them, all funds raised will go to the BDFA who will use them to provide opportunities for disabled people to enjoy the excitement of flying light aircraft.

Councillor Brian Connolly (pictured above) is Chair of the Council’s Group on Equalities and Diversity. He said: “I would like to congratulate Colin and the rest of the team on their outstanding achievement.

“Colin will be giving a number of talks to people with additional support needs, and others, about his experience. I am sure that his achievement will be an inspiration to many people and let them see that people with additional support needs can achieve great things.”

The aim of the world record breaking attempt was to change the attitudes that some people have towards those with additional support needs and to raise funds for the BDFA .

Anyone who would like to sponsor Colin can e-mail him at or log on to where donations can also be made.


British Disabled Flying Association

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Glenda wins a car at Ayr Racecourse Ladies Day

By: Iain Ferguson

THREE hectic days for Ayr Racecourse and the town in general saw crowds of more than 22,000 attend the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival 2008, which was voted a soaraway success.

Around £5 million was poured into the local economy with local hotels, bars and restaurants putting up ‘house full’ signs.

More than 5000 meals served over the three days at the Racecourse alone and 7000 bottles of champagne, 5000 bottles of wine and a staggering 40,000 pints of beer were drunk at the course over the Festival.


And the happiest woman of the week had to be Glenda Murdoch (pictured above) who drove off in a £25,000 Alfa Romeo Spider - top prize in Ladies Day Final.

Glenda was awarded a silver coin as one of the Best Dressed Ladies on the day and drew Against The Grain from the hat but as she watched the horse romp home in the John Smith’s Silver Cup she actually thought another horse had won and congratulated a woman standing beside her.

But as she left the enclosure where she had watched the race someone said to her it was actually her horse number 21 that had won and she got the shock of her life.

Glenda, who lives with husband Robert in Craigston Avenue, Ayr said: “I thought number two had won the race and the woman next to me had that one and I congratulated her. But the number cloth had blown over and was only showing two when it was actually 21. I couldn’t believe it when I found out.

“It is a truly stunning car and I’m so lucky to have won it. I’d like to thank everyone at the Racecourse, Jim Smith and everyone at Kerr & Smith and Iveco Trucks for making it a truly memorable day.”

The Alfa Romeo was presented by Kerr & Smith/Iveco Trucks suppliers of commercial vehicles in South West Scotland and Jim Smith, managing director of Kerr & Smith presented Glenda with the keys to the dream machine.

Jim said: “The excitement was intense as the girls watched the race. I invited them all into the Kerr & Smith hospitality area to view the Silver Cup and they were all shouting their horses on. Glenda was so happy when she realised she had won - I wish her many happy years of motoring in the Alfa Romeo Spider - it’s a beautiful car.”

Second prize of a £3000 white gold Vivienne Westwood necklace and ear-rings set with diamonds from Oghams the Jewellers of Ayr and Edinburgh went to Maybole woman Audrey Crow who had Harrison George as her horse and third was Roslin Simpson of Ayr who won a seven-night Ocean Village cruise for two plus flights courtesy of Stewart Travel. Roslin’s horse was Joseph Henry.

Ayr Racecourse marketing manager Lindsey Smith said she was absolutely delighted with Ladies Day. She said : “What a fabulous day we had. I thought the standard of the finalists was the best ever and the excitement was just unbearable. We really have established this as the best ladies day in Britain.

“One of the television presenters who was at the meeting said he couldn’t believe the first prize was a £25,000 car - it is such a fabulous prize and I'd like to thank Jim Smith and Iveco Trucks for their great support.”

Social racegoers over the three days had a great time as the rain stayed away and the Champagne Gardens were packed on Saturday with people having a great time.

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William the Conqueror in Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

WILLIE Carson is the top Scottish jockey of all time but he never won the Ayr Gold Cup. But now his grandson William aged 19 has achieved what granddad couldn’t do.


The teenager showed nerves of steel as he kicked his mount Regal Parade clear just over a furlong out, and the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup was his by two and a quarter lengths.

He winner and the runner up Tajneed are both trained by David Nicholls, incredibly saddling his fifth Gold Cup winner in nine years. David’s son Adrian had chosen Tajneed, but the day belonged to young Carson and Regal Parade.

The 18/1 chance had been gambled steadily from a morning price of 28/1 and a delighted trainer was full of praise for the young rider he only met for the first time minutes before the race.

Nicholls said: “I told William to ride him with a lot of confidence and, fair credit, he gave him a great ride. This is a big day for him.”

William after posing for photographs with the Gold Cup (pictured above) added: “I had an easy job. He took himself to the front and I just kept him going. I’ve spoken to my grandfather and he’s delighted for me. I have won a race that he never managed to win as a jockey, so I have got to be happy.”

The rain stayed away for all of Saturday and most of Thursday and Friday and crowds were on a par with last year - 3,000 on Thursday, just below 6,000 on Friday and 12,000 on Saturday with racegoers enjoying some great racing at Scotland’s top flat meeting of the season.

Other highlights on Saturday included a fine win for the Alan Bailey trained, Jimmy Quinn ridden Aspen Darlin at 12/1 in The Laundry Cottage Stud Firth Of Clyde Stakes and an outstanding performance from Lady Deauville in The Alphabet Supplies Doonside Cup, a Listed Race.

Trained by Paul Blockely and ridden by Franny Norton, Lady Deauville relished the heavy going and kept on well at odds of 15/2 to score by a length and three-quarters from Mutajarred (7/1).

The closest finish of the three days came in the penultimate race on Saturday’s card, The Dobbie Electrical Contractors Handicap. Hot favourite Torphicen (5/4) went down by a head to Tarkheena Prince (9/2) trained by Alan Swinbank and ridden by Robert Winston.

The opening race on Saturday the Nigel Angus Memorial Nursery, run in memory of the late trainer who was the last Scottish based handler to train a winner of the Ayr Gold Cup - Roman Warrior back in 1975. The winner of the race Rising Prospect (15/2) may never be as good as the Warrior but was far too good for this field and under Eddie Ahern scooted home by two and three quarters lengths from Cosmic Sun (3/1 favourite).

The meeting began on Thursday when the highlight was The McEwan’s Ales Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup. The evens favourite Allied Powers was an easy winner here by a length and three-quarters from Blue Spinnaker.

Linda Perratt was celebrating after landing the MacB Selling Stakes with 80/1 shot Jim Martin ridden by PJ McDonald. In a thrilling finish the horse got up by a head to deny Resonate with the odds on favourite She’s Our Lass a further head away in third.

Elsewhere on the opening day there were eyecatching performances from the Mick Channon trained Grit (7/1) an easy winner of the totesuper7 Handicap and the immensely impressive Keys Of Cyprus (7/2 joint favourite) in the Unick Architects Handicap.

On Friday there was a Scottish triumph in the John Smith’s Ayr Silver Cup when Against the Grain (16/1) came storming home by two and three quarters lengths from Harrison George (10/1). Trainer Lenny Lungo is based at Carrutherstown near Dumfries and said afterwards: “He's always been a good horse and the key to him is the ground. Heavy ground suited and hopefully we’ll be back next year for a tilt at the Gold Cup.”

The opening race on Friday, the Scottish Sun EBF Maiden Stakes went to Hey Up Dad (3/1) in the hands of Tony Hamilton for trainer Michael Dods. The two year old gelding was two lengths too good for Pokfulham (5/1).

There was a really impressive winner in Friday’s Grants Fruit Merchant Prestwick Harry Rosebery Stakes for the South Ayrshire Cup when Magic Cat (9/2) powered home by a length and a half from Total Gallery (7/2). Ridden by Andrew Elliott and trained by Karl Burke this horse should prove to be a decent three year old next season.

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