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Dinnie Stones

History of the Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones

For Dinnie Stone background, in 1837 Donald Dinnie was born to his father Robert Dinnie, who worked as a stronemason. At the age of 16, Dinnie won his first athletic competition (wrestling) in a neighboring town, and this win kickstarted his athletic career.

In the years following his start to sport at 16, Dinnie competed in multiple tests of athleticism, and is best known for dominating the Scottish Highland Games Championships for 20-years (1856-1876).

Now as the legend goes for the Dinnie Stones, in the 1830’s, metal handles were attached to two large boulders, which were used as counterweights for the maintenance of the Potarch bridge. Cumulatively the stones weigh 332.5kg (733 lbs), and individually the smaller stone weighs 144.5kg (318 lbs), while the larger stone weighs 188kg (414 lbs).

In 1860, Donald Dinnie completed one of the most impressive strength feats of his career, which is now known as the Dinnie Stones. It was at this time, Dinnie carried the two massive stones described above across the Potarch bridge, then back, for a distance of about 4-5 yards.

Currently the Dinnie Stones sits locked outside the Potarch Cafe and Restaurant. Until a gathering of strongman convenes to attempt the Dinnie Stone. There have been thousands of attempts on the Dinnie Stones but presently 120 successful lifts are recorded and judicated officially. (Sourced from http://www.thedinniestones.com/)

My Dinnie Stones Attempt

Before even attempting the lift you or even heading to the Potarch, there are some administrative procedures that you have to adhere to. Firstly, you need to submit videos or links that you have at least a 300kg deadlift. Then make an appointment to lift the stones with the keepers/guardian of the Dinnie Stones which are the good people at the Ballogie Estate via email. You will then be given a time and date booking to lift the Dinnie Stones.

The stones are under lock and chain to the ground. The keepers of the stones don’t want anyone to lift the stones or in the worst case scenario damage or misuse the stones. Before even lifting the stone you are required to sign an indemnity release form.

Once all the administrative processes are done, the keepers/guardians of the stone will be there to film, video and document your lift. There will also be a judicator (Brett Nicoll, owner of the Nicoll Stones) to judge your lift.

You will be given time to warm up and given up to three or four attempts, this is very dependent on the judicator who is the most experienced person lifting the Dinnie Stones. (Brett Nicoll, has more than a hundred lifts on the Dinnie Stones). Warming up to this lift can be tricky because Scotland is generally cold and wet, even in summer. How you warm up can make a difference or it won’t really matter because you will get cold anyway.

Below is my Full Lift Attempt at the Potarch

Video courtesy of Jim and Rosemary Splaine

My Dinnie Stones lift was witnessed by Brett Nicol, Jim & Rosemary Splaine, Helen Knowles, Demi Masson & the crowd of spectators and lifters in attendance.

Why this lift is a Big Deal

This lift is a big deal because it as to date (11th July 2019 as updated on www.thedinniestones.com) there are only 120 successful unassisted attempts on The Dinnie Stones. In over 150 to 200 years there has been thousands of attempts on the Dinnie Stones but only 120 successful unassisted lifts are recorded officially. This lift has seen more failure than successes. Many have tried but a handful have succeeded.

This lift is significant to me as an athlete is because this is one of the most revered lifts if you are a proper strength athlete or a strongman. This stones is one of the purest test of strength and is one of the many Manhood Stones in Scotland and if you ever have the opportunity you need to at least attempt the lifting the stones.

On the day that I lifted the stone, I had two other lifters with me, Andrew McGregor and Ian Bagdonovich from USA into like a “mini Gathering”. I have to state that during this lift I felt intimidated and anxious in all my attempts because it is not as easy as I expected it to be.

This lift is also significant because to date. I’m the only Singaporean that has have a successful lift on the Dinnie Stones. This also puts Singapore on the map in the worldwide strength and lifting scene. I end my Dinnie Stones Adventure by signing my name in the book and being the 119th lifter of the legendary Dinnie Stones.

I would also like to give my huge thanks and appreciation to Brett Nicol for making time to judge my lift, dropping knowledge bombs and advise on being a better stone lifter. Jim & Rosemary Splaine for the videos and photos. Helen Knowles and Demi Masson for making the arrangements for my Dinnie Stones Attempt.

In the meantime, train hard, stay injury free and be fearless.

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