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Feat of strength in Black Isle Show tractor push secures £1000 for Special baby Care Unit at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness

By Scott Maclennan

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Jamie ‘Keeper’ Stewart, Jim Mair, Craig ‘Shepherd’ Mackay, Neil ‘Basher’ Brown, and Simon ‘Shearer’ Bedwell.
Jamie ‘Keeper’ Stewart, Jim Mair, Craig ‘Shepherd’ Mackay, Neil ‘Basher’ Brown, and Simon ‘Shearer’ Bedwell.

A PREMATURE baby’s hospital treatment inspired a team of “burly” men to enter a charity tractor push contest at the Black Isle Show and win £1000 for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Raigmore Hospital.

The team entered the competition, led by Neil Brown, after he got the idea to try and win so the cash prize could be donated to SCBU – a place that is close to his heart.

Mr Brown’s partner Laura MacDonald went into labour four weeks earlier than anticipated and had to be rushed to hospital, however, there was not enough space in SCBU at the time.

The expectant mum then had to be rushed to the next closest facility, in Dundee, after getting injections to stop the contractions, where Dani was born four weeks early.

Mr Brown wanted to give something back to the SCBU at Raigmore, which also cared for her in her first four weeks.

He particularly mentioned the care of the nursing staff throughout.

Thankfully Dani is now a healthy five-year-old, though she may have some way to go before she is as robust as her tractor-pushing father and his mates. Mr Brown said that not only did his friends prove willing to join the event but they won the backing of Whyte and Mackay, after themselves being long-time supporters of the whisky.

The whisky giant, which has a base in Invergordon, provided the “strips” for Team Whyte and Mackay in the form of fleeces and T-shirts as well as a free bottle into the bargain.

Mr Brown said: “I started thinking about who were the burliest boys that I knew and they all drink Whyte and Mackay so the team came together.

“Last year it was a tractor pull but this year it was a tougher tractor push, so you need one skinny fast guy to run to the tractor and sit on it to steer it.”

The team – Jamie “Keeper” Stewart, Craig “Shepherd” Mackay, Neil “Basher” Brown, and Simon “Shearer” Bedwell, and the skinny but fast Duncan “Wild Welder” Slapp – eventually ran out comfortable winners.

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