Braemar Gathering Tug O War & Medley Relay
The Services Events at Braemar involve top military athletes competing in both Tug of War and Medley Relay competitions for the prestige of winning and receiving a magnificent silver trophy from the Royal Family.
Convener: Mr Alastair McIntosh, Braemar Royal Highland Society, Trustee
Tug of War
Inter-Services Tug of War has taken place at Braemar since 1955. The teams on show display a combination of strength, technique, discipline and showmanship but always great sportsmanship in a competition that involves and excites the crowd throughout the day.
The teams of 8 pullers, plus their coaches, are made up of men from the Royal Artillery, Signal and Royal Logistic Corps and Infantry regiments, as well as teams from the RAF and Royal Navy.
After an early morning weigh in, (maximum weight being 640kgs) the 12 invited teams are drawn into two pools of 6. Competition starts at around 10.15am and is on a 'round robin' basis. The top two teams from each pool go through to the semi-finals and ultimately the final in front of our Patron and other members of the Royal party.
The winning coach is presented with the 'John Miller Challenge Shield’, whilst the winning team members and the runners up receive the much sought-after Braemar Tankards. The Plate trophy — a quick-fire, knockout competition for the 8 teams who did not qualify for the semi-finals of the main competition — is also hotly contested.
This event normally involves 10 military teams running in two heats of 5. Teams can consist of male, female or mixed runners. Teams are made up of 4 runners, with the winners of each heat plus the 3 fastest losing teams meeting in the final.
The track is lush grass with tight bends and measures 268 yards in circumference. The race is run in the following order:
1st runner – half a lap
2nd and 3rd runners — a full lap
4th runner — half a lap
Once again the final takes place in front of the Royal party and the winning team captain will be presented with the Braemar Relay Shield. Team members and runners-up will receive Braemar Tankards.