The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 4 March 2011

Isle of Skye Whisky sponsors Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

Isle Of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky is the new sponsor of the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse - the richest hurdle race in Scotland.

The £50,000 Grade 2 race is run on 16 April, Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday, and has been sponsored since 1997 by Samsung Electronics.

The sponsorship is the latest stage in the brand development for Isle of Skye by its owners, Ian Macleod Distillers, which aims to raise the profile of the award-winning Blended Scotch throughout Scotland’s Racecourses and beyond.

In addition to being the official whisky sponsor of the 2011 Scottish Racing Trainers Championship, Isle Of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky is the official whisky partner at all five Scottish racecourses, and is also the proud sponsor of Scotland’s leading National Hunt trainer Lucinda Russell and her team at Arlary House Stables.

Iain Weir, Marketing Director for Ian Macleod Distillers, brand owners of Isle of Skye, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse. This is one of the most prestigious events in the racing calendar, built on values of tradition and excellence that sits very well with Isle of Skye 8 Years Old Blended Scotch Whisky.”

Alan Macdonald (pictured above), Chairman of Ayr Racecourse, said: “The Scottish Champion Hurdle is one of the highlights of the National Hunt season, not only in Scotland but in the UK. It has a great history, and I am delighted to welcome Isle of Skye Scotch Blended Whisky as sponsors of the race.

“Isle of Skye is not only a leading brand, but also has a great association with racing, and I feel this is a great fit. Everyone at Ayr Racecourse looks forward to working with the team at Isle of Skye to make this year’s race one of the best ever.”

The Scottish Champion Hurdle was first run in 1966, when the winner was Blue Venom. It was awarded Grade 2 status in 1991, and was run on the opening day of the two-day Scottish Grand National meeting until 1994 when it moved to the Saturday.

Previous winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Captain Christy in 1973, Alderbrook in 1996 (a year after winning the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham) and Martin Pipe’s Granville Again in 1992. Last year’s winner was the Donald McCain trained Overturn, ridden by Timmy Murphy.

Andy Turnell, Richard Dunwoody and Peter Scudamore have each ridden three winners of the race and Tony McCoy, Jamie Osborne, Richard Johnson and Jonjo O’Neill have all tasted victory in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

For further information please telephone Iain Ferguson on 07795-565691.


For more information on Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky visit

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are founder members of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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