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.

And the event will offer a unique day out for the whole family.

It aims to bring a taste of the USA to the Angus area 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.

Furthermore there will be a line-up of music performers ready to wow the crowds with some rousing Rockabilly rhythms and foot-tapping Country and Western.

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 of 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.

It also conducts lessons in western riding.

SaddleUp Ranch works closely with local 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, mainly on donations, and the money raised from the event will help to improve its facilities and expand on the services that it offers to adults, children and horses.

Jessica adds: “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, By Forfar (DD8 1PD), and will open to the public at high noon on Saturday, July 4.

Tickets are on sale now at £10 per person (children under 12 free) and can be purchased online at