Ardblair Stones - Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games

Ardblair Stones

Ardblair Stones are named after Ardblair Castle, home of the Blair Oliphant family who also run the Ardblair Estate on which the Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games are currently held.

The Ardblair Stones are nine reinforced concrete spheres ranging in weight from 18 to 152kg (40 to 335Ibs). The stones must be loaded sequentially from lightest to heaviest onto whisky butts. The event is judged on the time taken and the number of stones successfully loaded.

The reigning, and two-time World's Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman, currently holds the World Record for loading all nine stones in the fastest time with an incredible 21.81 seconds at the 2019 Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games.

The women's World Record currently stands at seven stones, loaded in a remarkable time of 37.14 seconds, also obtained at the 2019 Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games. is held by three-time World's Strongest Woman Donna Moore from North Yorkshire.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Here are our top nine tips for lifting the Ardblair Stones:

1- Stand directly over the stone with your feet on either side

2 - Use your legs, not your back, to squat down; don't bend over the stone

3 - Put your arms around each side of the stone as far as they will go.

4 - You can rock the stone to get your fingers far beneath it as possible

5 - Squeeze your arms into the stone, as though you are trying to crush it using your hands, arms, shoulders and chest

6 - Using your legs, pushing down through your heels and keeping your back straight, pull yourself and the stone up

7 - For heavier stones, you can lift them into your lap for a moment while in the squatting position to adjust your grip or to catch your breath

8 - Try rolling the stone up your chest rather than pushing it up the barrel

9 - Don't rush; concentrate on the stone you are lifting and ensuring your technique is the best it can be.

And if you fancy training for the Ardblair Stones challenge, all you need is a smooth stone to practice with.

Ardblair Stones - weights