He’s springy, elastic and light when he’s running, comes up to the mark in time and to spare. His opponents can’t beat him, or match him in cunning, they say we were beat because Dinnie was there.

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Wind Beneath the Stones 2016

James Gardner




We will keep up you updated here with any news on events etc concerning the Dinnie Steens. Please feel free to send us any news via our contacts page.

Listed below are upcoming attempts on the Dinnie Stones. Click here for details on how to go about setting up and attempt. Please remember to give at least 1 months' notice!

Cameron Ford - 28th July at 11.30am; Donald Dinnie Day, The Gathering II will take place on Sunday 5th August 2018 from 12 noon, details below; Sebastian Hurst - 17th November - time tbc; Pete Seddon 20th or 21st December 2018 (tbc)

Recent News

20th July 2018 - With only 2 weeks to go until Donald Dinnie Day, The Gathering II at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant, plans are well advanced and we will have over 40 lifters past and present in attendance, 31 of whom are planning to take on the famous Dinnie Steens. Some lifters are taking on the challenge for the frst time so there are no guarantees of success which will add to the excitement and suspense of the event. Included in the list are 3 valiant warriors planning to attempt to carry the mighty boulders for the full 17' 1 1/2". We will also have representatives from the ground breaking Disabled Strongman community taking part.

As this year's Gathering is a celebration of all things Dinnie there will be an Inver Stone demonstration presented by Martin Jancsics and we hope to have a special guest to assist with what promises to be a spectacular presentation. Our Chieftan David Webster OBE will kick things off at 12 noon on Sunday 5th August. David is probably one of the best known figures in Scottish strength culture and without his efforts there would be no Dinnie Steens or Inver Stone for us to enjoy. There will be a Donald Dinnie memorabilia display in one of the marquees along with food and refreshments. The Ardblair Stones are gaining more and more prominence and Charlie Blair Oliphant has very kindly agreed to bring them along on the day for anyone wishing to try their hand at the noble and ancient art of stone lifting. There will be commemorative t-shirts on sale on the day but get in quick as supplies will be limited!

We look forward to welcoming you to what promises to be a spectacular and historic display, commemorating Scotland's first sporting superstar Donald Dinnie.

Click here for directions to Potarch Cafe & Restaurant

11th July 2018 - Jake Huntley makes a valiant attempt at the mighty Dinnies but was unsuccessful on this ocassion. No doubt he will return to complete his quest. we wish him well!

27th May 2018 - Mark Haydock, one of the most prominent names in Dinnie Steen history, breaks the world reord for lifting and holding the Dinnie Stones. Mark managed a massive 38.61 seconds at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant. Next to Brett Nicol and Jim Splaine no-one has completed more unassisted lifts of the Dinnie Stones. Add this to his successful carry of the stones across Potarch bridge unassisted at The Gathering last year and you would have to say that his Dinnie track record is unequalled. His magnificent obsession will no doubt drive him on to even bigger achievements..watch this space as his incredible story unfolds. Click here for a copy of Mark's incredible feat

28th April 2018 - What a day at Potarch! There were multiple brave attempts from the 9 lifters gathered with 4 successfully hoisting the mighty boulders. 3 of the 4 lifting for the first time. Experienced lifter Charlie Blair Oliphant recreated an iconic pic first taken by Jim Splaine in the early 1970s by placing his son Laurence on his shoulders while standing with the Stones. Jamie Gorrian also added his name to the history books along with fellow Scotsman Liam Tweedie. James Crossley, who is best know as Hunter from the TV Show Gladiators, also took the stones on for the first time. James had the World Record for the lift and hold in his mind when he took position over the historic Dinnie Steens. After two incredibly close attempts he delighted the crowd by taking the record on his third try with an amazing 34.58 seconds! The remaining lifters all made brave attempts and will hopefully come back and complete their quest. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Harry Hancock. A huge thanks to all the lifters and spectators who generously donated a total of £175 towards the Anthony Nolan Cancer Charity.

11th April 2018 - Stefan Larch from Austria successfully lifted the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant. His friend Thomas Steinacker made a valliant attempt and will no doubt make a great lift when he returns.

31st March 2018 - Jayden Hill from New Zealand successfully completes the first lift of the Dinne Stones in 2018 at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

8th December 2017 - Des Hylton from Brisbane, Australia successfully completes the last lift of the Dinne Stones in 2017 at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

5th November 2017 - Another historic day took place on a cold but sunny day at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant. Timo Lauttamus from Finland, Adam Bushaway from Herefordshire and Matt Jones from Tamworth added their names to the history books by successfully lifting the mighty Dinnie Steens. There were also valliant attempts from James Fuller and Kirsten Moore who will no doubt return and complete their quest. A meeting had been scheduled later the same afternoon to kick off plans for next year's Donald Dinnie Gathering on the first Sunday in August 2018 following the Aboyne Games. As such there was a large crowd of organisers and previous lifters in attandance to witness the attempts including Dinnie Steen legend David Webster OBE. Mark Haydock, who recently successfully carried the Steens across Potarch Bridge lifted them in a side by side fashion and took a few steps just weeks after sustaining a massive achilles tendon injury. Will Mark return next year and walk with them at the Donald Dinnie Gathering?

21st October 2017 - Keith Surette from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada successfully lifts the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

8th October 2017 - Jeff Vouladakis from Lake Country, Canada successfully lifts the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

7th October 2017 - Josh ‘Gorilla’ Brown from Blackburn, Lancashirean successfully lifts the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

30th September 2017 - Ian Coull successfully lifts the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

23rd September 2017 - Scott Dalrymple successfully lifts the Dinne Stones at Potarch Cafe & Restaurant.

2nd September 2017 - Click here for a video of the presentations to David Webster and Drs Jan & Terry Todd

28th August 2017 - Click here for a report on the day's events at The Gathering, Sunday 6th of August 2017. A very successful, historic and enjoyable day was had by all and we look forward to making this an annual celebration.

29th July 2017 - We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our sponsors Aberdeenshire Council, Esslemont Marquees & Irn Bru for their kind donations towards the running of "The Gathering".

20th July 2017 - From 12 noon on Sunday August 6th, Potarch Cafe & Restaurant on Ballogie Estate will be host to "The Gathering", a day paying tribute to Donald Dinnie, the Dinnie Stones and stone lifting as part of our Scottish heritage.

Donald Dinnie the first true Scottish sporting hero, (who in his lifetime reportedly took part and won over 11,000 sporting competitions), made history at Potarch in 1860 by entertaining crowds of local people at Potarch market by lifting and carrying the stones that had been used to counterweight the scaffolding during repairs to the bridge. Lifting these stones weighing an immense 332kgs (approx.) proved to be a catalyst that began his passion for competing in Highland Games and strongman competitions around the world.

The Gathering in August is an event which will bring many members of the stone lifting community together from all around the world, to showcase their amazing capabilities, share stories of competitions and stone lifting and also to emulate the achievements of Dinnie over 150 years ago.

The Gathering 2017 is an invitational event and we look forward to welcoming many well-known names and faces from the stone lifting community to Potarch.  Nine individuals will attempt a lift and carry of the Stones across the width of Potarch Bridge the distance of 17ft and 1inch, exactly the length documented by Donald.  A further 12 individuals will attempt to lift the stones in the gardens of Potarch in front of family, friends and spectators.

We also welcome local artist Stephanie Vandem to Potarch who will be showcasing  her ‘Lifting’ exhibition at Potarch Café & Restaurant from the 4th – 20th August 2017.

We hope to make history in August by having the largest group of individuals who have successfully lifted the stones all at a Potarch on the day of The Gathering. So join us and be involved in a historic tribute to Donald Dinnie , one of Scotland's sporting greats in this  year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Lifting commences outside the Hotel at 12 noon and carry attempts will commence on the bridge from 2.30pm.

14th June 2017 - A historic day with two lady lifters attempting the Steens. Susan & Leigh Holland-Keen both made valiant attempts on wednesday missing only by a whisker! No doubt they will be return to complete their quest. Congratulations to Dr Lance Holland-Keen, Mike Bickers & Aaron Monks who all made successful attempts. Next up is Charlie Blair Oliphant on 29th July.

12th June 2017 - In order to encourage more attempts lifting rules are amended by agreement to allow strap assisted attempts by lady lifters.

4th June 2017 - Huge congratulations to Martin Jnncsics who successfully hoisted the Steens unassisted on 27th May 2017 and best of luck to Mike Bickers, Dr Lance-Holland Keen & Charlie Blair Oliphant on their upcoming attempts!

25th March 2017 - Bryan Hunsaker from Salt Lake City, USA made a successful attempt at the Potarch cafe & Restaurant.

25th February 2017 - Many congratulations to Brian Irwin & Davy Bagnall who both made successful attempts at the Potarch cafe & Restaurant.

18th February 2017 - John Pollock, Ben Thomson & Stevie Shanks all made successful attempts at the Potarch cafe & Restaurant.

17th February 2017 - A busy few weeks ahead surrounding the Dinnie Steens. Starting this weekend John Pollock, Ben Thomson & Stevie Shanks will all make their attempts tomorrow at 12 noon at the Potarch cafe & Restaurant. The following Saturday Brian Irwin, William Kingsberry, Davy Bagnall, Andy Cunningham and Gary Bunting will be taking the Steens on. Finally the competitors for the Arnold Classic lift & hold competition with Gordon Dinnie's replicas have been anounced. Taking on the challenge will be: Odd Haugen, Dr Bill Crawford, Stevie Shanks and Mark Felix. This will be streamed live from 11.30am on Sunday 5th March (Columbus time). We wish everyone every success in their endeavours.

7th February 2017 - Aberdeen City Council have organised a public vote to decide on names that should be in the new ‘Hall of Heroes’ at Provost Skene’s House. It will be a visitor attraction and ‘Donald Dinnie’ is on the list for Sporting Heroes of the North East who have made a world wide contribution. The deadline is the 12th February, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could secure DD a place in history through the public vote! Click here for full details on how to vote etc.

21st January 2017 - Gordon Dinnie's replica Dinnie stones will appear in a Lift & Hold competition at the Arnold Classic 2017 in Columbus Ohio during the first weekend in March. Click here for full details.

21st January 2017 - Stoneland film continues to spread worldwide with almost 5.5 million views in its first month! Click here for the full film.

23rd December 2016 - Stoneland film goes viral with almost one million views in just 5 days! Click here for the Press & Journal article.

17th December 2016 - Andy Cairney and Neil 'Nelly' Elliott lift the Dinnie Steens at Potarch.

17th December 2016 - Rogue Fitness have now released the finished documnetary on Scottish stonelifting entitled 'Stoneland'. Click here to view and enjoy this wonderful account of the many historical stones of strength scattered around Scotland.

15th December 2016 - Pete Seddon from Australia performed a successful full lift of the Dinnie Steens at Potarch.

13th December 2016 - Rogue Fitness have released a trailer for their upcoming documnetary on Scottish stonelifting entitled 'Stoneland'. Click here for a sneek preview. The full film should be released by the new year.

12th November 2016 - A group comprising of the owners of the Steens at Ballogie Estate, The Aboyne Highland Games Committe and previous lifters of the Steens met at the Potarch Cafe & Restaurant on Saturday 12th November to discuss and agree guidelines for lifting the Steens. A new chapter is about to open up and it is important that the guidelines are put in place to protect the Steens for future generations and for the protection of lifters. The guidelines will be published before the end of the month. The Group is pictured top left: Ian Scott - Aboyne HGC, Stevie Shanks, Helen Knowles - Ballogie Estate, Christina Nicol - Ballogie Estate, Malcolm Nicol - Ballogie Estate, Jim Splaine & Brett Nicol.

7th August 2016 - Gordon Dinnie commissioned replicas of the Dinnie Stanes some years ago. Gordon sadly passed away in 2009 and his wife Senga has donated the stones to the Stark Center for Physical Culture & Sports in Texas. They will be shipped there soon and in time will be held up as a challenge to lifters. We will post more details on here when they become available for lifting.

7th August 2016 - The Dinnie Stanes are returned to Potarch following completion of the renovations to the old hotel. During the renovations the stones were held in trust in the capable hands of Ian Scott and the Aboyne Highland games committee. The new Potarch Cafe & Restaurant features a Dinnie memorial garden where the Stones now reside. A group of previous lifters of the stones were there to take part in a documentary on Scottish historical stone lifting 'Stoneland'. (Pictured second from the top left: Martin Jancsics, Dr Bill Crawford, Brett Nicoll, Stevie Shanks, Dr Jan Todd, Jack Shanks, David Webster & Jim Splaine). The documentary was led by Drs Terry and Jan Todd of the Stark Center for Physical Culture & Sports in Texas along with Rogue Fitness director Todd Sansom and his crew. It was fate more than a coincidence that they all happened to be there to greet the Steens just as they arrived back at their ancestral home.

6th August 2016 - James Gardner (pictured to the bottom left) and Stone lifting legend Bill Crawford go head to head on a Dinnie Stane lift and hold competition at the Aboyne Highland Games 2016. Bill had just spent the week travelling around Scotland lifting many of the ancient stones scattered around the country and managed an incredible unassisted lift and hold of 4 seconds. This was particularly impressive given the amount of energy he had already expended. James came out the victor with an amazing 13 second unassisted lift.

3rd October 2015 - Stevie Shanks made 2 unassisted lifts in the sunshine of Aboyne Green witnessed by Ian Scott of the Aboyne HGC, the local press, a large crowd of spectators and a group of Stevie’s friends who had travelled with him. His Mum and Dad were also there to see Stevie create history with his Dad by becoming the first Father and Son lifters since Dinnie himself in 1860. Stevie’s Dad, Jack Shanks was the first man to lift the stones unassisted in 1972 returning in 1973 to carry them unassisted equaling Dinnie’s feat. What a lot of people don’t know is that Donald Dinnie’s Father, Robert Dinnie also lifted the stones (with apparent ease according to Donald Dinnie’s own account). Dinnie also refers to his father carrying the stones. Stevie & Jack are the first modern Father and Son lifters of the stones. Will they become the first Father and Son to carry them?.......

Thine very truly D Dinnie

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