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The Glengarry Highland Games has history going back to the events held by the 15th Chieftain of the Clan MacDonnell, Col Alasdair Ronaldson Macdonnell of Glengarry (circa 1773-1828). He was the last of the traditional Chieftains before the Estate was eventually sold to the Ellice family

in the 19th century. The games of this time placed great emphasis on feats of strength such as throwing heavy stones and hammers, tossing the caber, leaping over a pony’s back and running such as the Mountain Race ("Last of the Chiefs"). Many of these heavy events are still seen today. One event that provoked criticism in its day was where competitors could spend four or five hours, using just their muscular strength, to tear the limbs off a fresh dead cow! Luckily this event has not survived to the present day. In "The Place Names of Glen Garry and Glenquoich" by Edward

Ellice, there are various references to the events, and to the sites where the Games were held such as flats close to the river at the Dog Pool. There are a number of references in newspaper articles from the period of about 1863 to the second world war, when the Ellice family held games at the Pony Parks, to the east of the present Glengarry Castle Hotel. In the post World War 2 years there were some form of Games or Sports held intermittently in these locations, and others on fields around Invergarry Home farm.

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The History of our Highland Games

The modern Games, which were established in 1972 after a lapse of some years, have been held continuously in their current location (The Shinty Field, Invergarry). The head forester in 1972, Fred MacAllan, and people such as Alasdair and Sandy MacRae, Jimmy Paterson and others, who were involved with the resurgence of the local shinty club, formed the games committee.

After a certain amount of planning and discussion the local laird, Russell Ellice, donated the field to the Community and it progressed towards its present high quality surface, not only by a great deal of local voluntary work, but also from a community project by the Royal Engineers. The main year round use of the field is shinty, but other sports are played there.

The Glengarry shinty club also dates back to the 17th century and since it revival in 1972 it has had many successes, and, for a number of years, the ladies team have been successful pioneers of the ladies game. During the present day games the Shinty club sell burgers, filled rolls and soft drinks in the Marquee and, after the Games there are shinty matches played, including the game for the McBain Cup.

The games are supported by many local businesses and the proceeds go to local charities. Many local groups have stalls on the day, and the W.R.I. provide teas to the committee and other guests.

There are all the usual track and field events (including the Hill Race), interspersed with children’s races, with competition being open to locals and visitors alike. Many well-known Highland athletes and strong men compete and Games records can sometimes be beaten. Heavy events include the Hammer, Weight for Distance, Shot Putt, Caber, Weight over the Bar, the Farmers Walk and the team event, the Tug of War.

The Games feature The Lochaber Pipe Band, a parade by the Games Queen, a Highland Dancing competition, a childrens fancy dress competition and a pet dog fun show (2pm- entries on the field from 1pm). A Police Crime Prevention Caravan attends with various displays and situations permitting, shows such as dog handling. The fire brigade also attend, and they hold a "welly" boot throwing competition. There are always a variety of other attractions, displays, stalls and children’s entertainments and refreshments are available throughout the days proceedings. Nevis Radio broadcast from the event.

The Highland Games Today
The Glengarry Hill Run always sorts out
the boys from the men!
Telephone Alison on 01809 511260
Featuring the Lochaber Pipe Band
Glengarry Highland Games