Miss Jean Galbraith
10 February 2018

It is with much sadness that we hear of the death of The Honourable Miss Jean Galbraith of Barskimming at the age of 96.

Miss Jean, as she was known to all, was a great supporter of Scottish carriage driving.

For many years she was a a competitor at driving trials with her Shetland pony Blackie, as well as taking part in BDS drives and showing classes.

I am not sure that Blackie ever completed a dressage test without going to the toilet in the middle of the arena!

SCDA members will remember fondly the Barskimming Events which Miss Jean and Miss Heather hosted.

For many years the marathon included a very steep slope descending to the obstacle field and then an equally scary ascent up the hill and through a rock tunnel.

I had many a sleepless night before those events as I don’t do ‘tippy’ but always enjoyed the marathon once on it!

Beautiful drives through the woods, along the drive past the big house, up farm tracks past Miss Heather and Miss Jean’s prized horses, and all the time enjoying the fauna and flora. We were so lucky to be made so welcome at Barskimming.

Miss Jean was a great friend of carriage driving in Scotland and of BDS West of Scotland in particular. She was a very generous hostess, always delighted to host events at Barskimming, her beautiful family estate near Mauchline.

Her delicious teas after drive-outs were eagerly looked forward to with often as many 'foot followers' and ‘friends’ coming to tea as there were drivers.

To cram in around their huge kitchen table was a real treat with good company, good food and Miss Jean regaling us with a host of stories and anecdotes about her life.

As a small child she lived at the family's estate at Auchendrane, south of Ayr and then after that came their move to Barskimming.

Always a keen horsewoman, Miss Jean hunted from an early age, with the family's hunters stabled in a multi-storey hunt livery stable in the middle of Ayr.

At Barskimming, with her sister Miss Heather, she became interested in eventing, and to this day they host the annual British Eventing Eglinton Horse Trials.

During the war Miss Jean joined the WRENs and worked as a signaller.

After the war she returned to Barskimming and helped run Barskimming for the rest of her life.

Always keen to point out the hedges that she planted, or how after the war she cut the grass at the side of the drive into Barskimming with a push along mower, which entailed pushing the mower for six miles back and forth, Miss Jean was an entertaining passenger on a drive out at Barskimming.

Miss Jean had an endless supply of tales about her long life and she leaves a great hole in the BDS West of Scotland and SCDA Carriage Driving.

We are so sad to hear of her death and will convey our deepest sympathies to Miss Heather.

Contributed by Eileen Cornish, SCDA Secretary and BDS Scotland.

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