Scottish Heavy Athletics

The Saskatchewan Highland Gathering and Celtic Festival is proud to host the Scottish Open/Amateur Athletics competition at this year’s Festival. The heavy events are well known staples to the highland games around the world. Precursor to modern strongman competitions and two Olympic track and field events (shot put and hammer); these feats of strength and athletic ability are rich in tradition and truly are the ‘original extreme games’!

NOTICE - MARCH 15 The SHGCF Board is monitoring the situation with respect to COVID-19 and holding public events. At this time we are planning to go ahead the SHGCF in May, but we fully realize this may change in the next weeks as we understand more about the impact of the virus in our region. We are going to delay opening entries until March 22, and after that, we will provide refunds to competitors in the event we have to cancel. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we wish you all well as you grapple with this challenge.

2020 Online Registration

• Location: Victoria Park, Regina.
Enter via main gate. Registered athletes will be on the list for entry, and will pick up their competitor number there.

• Date: Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. Events start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday events TBA.

• Hotels: If you are booking hotels, please use one of the RHA member hotels listed HERE, and be sure to ask for the Highland Games rate!

• Prize Money for Open: 1st - $400; 2nd - $300; 3rd - $200, 4th - $100

Trophies for Amateur - 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Athletic Director: Forrest Scharf

Field Judge: TBA

Scoring: TBA


We need volunteers for the Scottish athletic events, and we’d love to hear from you if you want to help. Use the Volunteer Form to register and we’ll get in touch.

2019 Open Competitors:

Matt Reling, Winnipeg
Jason MacDonald, Winnipeg
Curtis Durocher, Calgary
Jesse Cann, Saskatoon

Alisha Thompson, Calgary

2019 Amateur Competitors:
Garry MacDonald, Saskatoon
Robert Scott, Calgary
Riley McIntyre, Regina
Shaun Ings, Winnipeg
Toby Culham, Lloydminster
Collin Haacke, Winkler, MB
Cory MacLeod, Kleefeld, MB
Robert Reid, Winnipeg
Sandy Thorburn, Regina
Karl Hren, Asquith, SK


Photos: View Photos

SHGCF Scottish Athletics Events

Open Stone

Precursor the to the modern Olympic shot put, the Open Stone is a well-recognized event. Within the rectangular throwing area, the athletes build up momentum for a powerful release. Quick feet and functional strength are the keys to a good throw in the Open Stone, and those who try to over muscle it usually wind up disappointed. Track and Field athletes have an advantage here, but a good all round Highland gamer can keep pace with the best of them.

Games Record- 53’ 10.5” 55’ 2.5”

Braemar Stone

Without question, this event is the most ancient of Highland games heavy events. A true test of brute strength, the Braemar Stone is a heavy field stone weighing up to 28 pounds and thrown with one hand from a standing position. A good throw in this event will put an athlete in a good position for the rest of the competition.

Games Record- 43’ 6.5”

Hammer throw

The Scot’s hammer is a 16 or 22 pound ball at the end of a rigid 50” handle. Unlike the Olympic hammer, athletes must throw the traditional hammer with feet firmly planted, relying on strength and power rather than momentum and speed to hurl the implement as far as they can. These two events are the longest of them all.

Games Records- light hammer: 139’ 4.5” Heavy Hammer: 111’ 8.5” 113’ 5”

Caber Toss

Gaelic for “tree,” the caber toss event is just that—flipping a tree end for end and it is the most recognizable event of the Highland games. The name of the game is accuracy and the athlete who can flip the caber the straightest (closest to 12:00on a clock face) will win the title.

Weight Over Bar

A staple to strongman competitions, the weight over bar is a true test of strength. Putting this event in perspective, picking up a 5 gallon pail full of water and throwing that one handed into a second story bedroom window would be very close…all you would need is another gallon to make it a full 56 pounds!

Games Record- 17’ 1”

Sheaf Toss

In the sheaf you will see these athletes throw is a burlap bag filled with twine resembling a sheaf of wheat, and the goal is to throw it as high as possible over a bar. The Canadian record holder will be on hand at the Western Canadian Championships hoping to eclipse his record toss of over 34 feet high.

Games Record- Heavy Sheaf: 34’ 3” Light Sheaf: 40’

Light Weight for Distance

The light weight for distance is truly remarkable to watch. This weighted ball at the end of an 18” chain is thrown for maximum distance with one hand similar to the Olympic discus event. The only difference is the light weight outweighs the disc by over 23 pounds!

Games Record- 82’ 2.5”

Heavy Weight for Distance

Take that same pail of water in the weight for height and spin 920° to gain momentum for a throw for maximum distance, and you have the heavy weight for distance. A four stone or 56 pound weight at the end of an 18” chain is thrown by these athletes. Requiring more skill and strength than any other event, look for the winner of the heavy weight for distance to win the Western Canadian title.

Games Record- 45’ 10”

For heavy events information, contact: