Tag Archives: Dinnie Stones

All Arounders and the Dinnie Stones

By Al Myers

The Dinnie Stones

The Dinnie Stones

After the other days stories on Stevie Shanks and James Gardner and the Dinnie Stones, it got me thinking about how the famous Dinnie Stones have intrigued a number of all around weightlifters.  As I look over the list of accomplished Dinnie Stone lifters I noticed a number of USAWA and IAWA(UK) lifters who have lifted them. Today I want to summarize these all around Dinnie Stone lifters and give them a bit of recognition for this amazing accomplishment. I’m only listing lifters who have them unassisted (without straps) which is the ultimate goal (next to carrying them!).  Also, I’m only including those that have also competed in USAWA or IAWA competitions.

Frank Ciavattone (USAWA) – September 24th, 1996

Nick McKinless (IAWA-UK) – April 4th, 1998

David Horne (IAWA-UK) – April 5th, 1998

Steve Angell (IAWA-UK) – October 8th, 2001

Kevin Fulton (USAWA) – October 8th, 2001

Roger Davis (IAWA-UK) – June 28th, 2009

Chad Ullom (USAWA) – November 4th, 2012

Mark Haydock (IAWA-UK) – November 4th, 2012

Al Myers (USAWA) – November 4th, 2012

Stevie Shanks (IAWA-IRELAND) – October 3rd, 2015

James Gardner (IAWA-UK)- August 6th, 2016

Complete bios and details of these Dinnie Stones lifting accomplishments may be found on the website thedinniestones.com    I consider this now the official website covering the Dinnie Stones.

If I have accidently left someone off this list who has competed in an USAWA/IAWA competition and has lifted the stones, please let me know so I can get them added!

James Gardner Lifts Dinnie Stones

By Al Myers

James Gardner lifting the Dinnie Stones unassisted in front of the watcher of the Stones, David Webster.

James Gardner lifting the Dinnie Stones unassisted in front of the watcher of the Stones, David Webster.

I can’t believe I haven’t done this blog yet.  In fact – it’s BIG NEWS to me when someone lifts the Dinnie Stones unassisted (meaning bare hands only – no straps). It even means more to me when it’s someone I know, and someone who I consider a good friend as well!  James Gardner, of Barton under Needwood in England, accomplished this great feat on August 6th, 2016 at the Aboyne Highland Games in Scotland.

At the Aboyne Games they held a competition with the Dinnie Stones. Many stone lifting dignitaries were in attendance, including David Webster, Dr. Terry Todd, Bill Crawford, and others. James performed two unassisted lifts with the Dinnie Stones, and then later won the competition for hold for time with the stones, with a lengthy 13 second hold. This secured James a spot in the Dinnie Stone legacy.

The history of the Dinnie Stones was on display at the games.

The history of the Dinnie Stones was on display at the games.

I have lifted with James many times, and he has one of the best hook grips I know of.  He’s been performing big single arm deadlifts for years and through his years of competing in tug of wars has developed an unbelievable grip so I’m not surprised one bit that he was able to lift the Dinnie Stones.

Congrats to James!!!!

Stevie Shanks and the Dinnie Stones

By Al Myers

Stevie Shanks making a successful lift of the Dinnie Stones unassisted on October 3rd, 2015.

Stevie Shanks making a successful lift of the Dinnie Stones unassisted on October 3rd, 2015.

It’s about time I revisit a passion of mine – the Dinnie Stones!

Recently Stevie Shanks of Belfast, Northern Ireland, has launched a new website honoring the great Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones.  Stevie is a fellow IAWA and all round lifter as well.  He lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted in October 2015, to join his father Jack as the only father/son duo to lift the Dinnie Stones unassisted since Donald Dinnie and his dad did so 150 years prior!  Stevie’s work on this new website is to follow in the footsteps of the work the late Gordon Dinnie had done with the prior Dinnie Website.  All of the information from the previous Dinnie website is contained in the new website.

The address for the NEW Dinnie Stone website is –


This new website has a full listing of all the lifters that have lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted and assisted, as well as those that have successfully carried the Stones unassisted and assisted. It also contains history related to Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones. There’s a “news section” that gives any updates on any recent news regarding the Dinnie Stones.  The website has been developed brilliantly, and contains all the information anyone would want in regards to the Dinnie Stones.  I applaud Stevie Shanks for all the hard work he put into this project and  keeping the legacy of the Dinnie Stones alive!

Interview with Chad Ullom

by Al Myers

The start of the Dinnie Walk, one of the events in the World Stone Challenge.

Al: Recently you participated in the World Stone Championships in Scotland. Could you tell me how you got invited to this prestigious event? Please feel free to share any other details of the event.

Chad:  Well, Francis Brebner has been planning on doing this type of challenge for many years, but circumstances caused it to fall through.  He didn’t tell me this, but I believe after the controversy involving the Dinnie stones last year, he decided that this was going to be the year to pull it off.  Given the success in lifting the stones that Al Myers, Mark Haydock and I had last year, he extended an invitation to all of us to come over and compete in this challenge.  I made it clear to Francis that I am NOT a stonelifter!  I had success with the Dinnies because I have a good hook grip and a strong enough back.  After the support he showed us on the Milo forum and in writing the Milo article, I wanted to go and support the event.  Not to mention, it involved a trip to Scotland!

Inver Stone

Al:   What were the events, and how did you do?

Chad: We started off with the Dinnie stone carry for distance.  We were allowed to use straps since the farthest walks on record were done with straps.  This caused even more of a dust up after we were done!  Now, I have rarely lifted with straps so I made a big mistake!  I didn’t wrap my right strap all the way around and after two feet my strap broke!  I was going to try again, but someone shut us down early (that is another story!).   The two feet got met 4th place, Mark finished 2nd with 9 (I need to check that) and a big Hungarian named Peter Putzer   walked 18’4”!  Going over the 5 yard mark that was our target!  It was very impressive to watch!

We then did the bare handed walk with the smaller Dinnie stone.   Mark took 1st in this event with 30ft, and I came in 3rd with 21. 

Next it was on to the Inver stone.  We were given 75 seconds to lift it as many times as we could with 1 points awarded for lapping it, 2 for bringing it to the chest and 5 for an overhead press.  I was able to bring it to my chest 4 times which again placed me 4th

Next was the inverstone carry.   I went 1st here and made a big mistake!  I brought it to my chest and squeezed, cutting off my breath so I only went 37 feet and finished 5th here.

On the final day,  we threw a 98 pound stone that the Portland stone was designed after.  This one turned out to be my best event and with some advice from Ryan Vierra, I took 2nd place with a throw of 12’2.   

Mark ended up tied for 1st, but lost on count back to Istvan Sarai.  Overall, I finished 5th, but it was a lot of fun and I was honored to participate! 

The one handed Dinnie Stone Walk.

Al:  I seen that you lifted the Inver Stone, something that you couldn’t do on the stone tour following the Gold Cup.  I bet this was exciting for you.  Could you share the details of that accomplishment?

Chad:  That was very important to me.  As I’ve said, I’m not a stone lifter, but this was something I really wanted to do.  I was disappointed after the gold cup that I wasn’t able to lift the inver, but I was totally focused on the Dinnies!  Well, before we got there, I felt the butterflies.  After all, this was being filmed and I didn’t want to fail!  I went over to warm up , I grabbed it and it came off the ground very easily!  I had some issues with balance during  the comp, but I was happy to bring it to my chest 4 times.

Hans Darrow hosted a good ole fashioned BBQ on our first night in Germany, and he welcomed us right into his home.

 Al:  I know after this Stone Championships, you went to Berlin, Germany to participate in the IHGF World Amateur Highland Game Championships.  How did that go, and what were the highlights of competing against the International Highland Gamers?

Chad:  That was a very humbling experience!  Hans Darrow and his family treated us like one of their own.  I’m happy to say that the international throwers are a great group of guys and I made some new friends!  I finished in 10th place out of 14, I was happy with how I threw.  I threw pretty close to seasons best in each event, nothing great, but I didn’t bomb anything either.  The highlight for me was definitely caber.  Going in, I wanted to surprise some people with the caber.  I ended up placing 3rd here and was very happy with that.  It was a tough stick, only 5 got a turn I believe.  I’m happy to say that I was able to turn it all 3 times. 

Setting up for the Weight for Height.

Al:  I know there has to be at least one interesting story you would like to share with us from this trip.  I don’t expect for you to share the ones you told me privately about Hamish Davidson, but I’m sure there has to be one that is fit to tell here! 

Chad:  That’s a tough one, LOL.  The best stories aren’t mine to tell, but I can tell you Francis Brebner had me in tears for days after!  So the best story that is PG would be after the bar closed down!  Several of us decided to go out and celebrate.  We started at the field watching the fire show drinking beer, diesel(beer & cola mixed 1:1), and a few shots.  After a stop at a regular bar we moved to a dance club.  Had a great time,  and closed it down!  A few of us decided to walk back to the hotel, a few others took a cab to another bar.  So, 3am in Germany and everyone I was with spoke only broken English!  We weren’t 100% sure where we were so one of the guys stepped away to call a cab and left me with his brother.  Well, we waited….and waited…finally his brother laid down on the sidewalk and passed out! After a half hour, I woke him up and said we have to try to find our way!  We disagreed on where to go, but I finally convinced him to head my way.  Turns out, we were like 3 blocks from the hotel!   We must been out there a half hour!  The best part is we found his brother drinking in the hotel bar!  

Hammer Throw

Al:  What can you tell me about the organizers of these events?             

Chad:Francis Brebner and Ryan Viera make up the IHGF(international highland games federation).  I’m not sure how many countries they went through on this trip, but they are working very hard to expand highland games across the world!  I would say they are having great success, the games in Germany had 14 athletes representing 11 countries!  I believe it was the most countries in an international highland game.  They are taking some heat for reasons I don’t understand in some circles.  I can tell you after spending a week with these two, they are doing this for  the love of the sport!  They have a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for the games.  They also drug test at each of their games which makes them fit right in to our way of thinking!  I wish these men great success in what they’re doing. 

Group picture at the Highland Game Championships.

Al:  Thank you for taking the time to do this short interview.  The USAWA is very proud of you and these great accomplishments! 

Chad:  Thank you Al!

OTSM Championships

by Thom Van Vleck


Third Annual Old Time Strongman Championships

Chad Ullom with a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones. An OTSM Championship lift for this year!

A date has been set for the OTSM.  December 7th!  So mark your calendars! Here are the details to date:

Date: 12/7/2013

Time: 10:00am weigh in begins, warm ups with a start time of noon.

Place: Kirksville, Missouri (exact location TBD)

Events: Anderson Squat, Anderson Press, Dinnie Lift (order will depend if we have to split into flights)

Entry Fee: $25

I wanted to have a three lift meet with a squat type lift, a press type lift, and a pull type lift.  Also, all the lifts are current OTSM official lifts. Winners will be determine by weight class and age and an overall best male and female lifter will be determined using weight and age formulas.    Lifters will get a JWC club t-shirt, anvil trophy for winners, refreshments, and certificates with meet results for everyone.

Entry Information:  Send your name, entry fee and shirt size to:

Thom Van Vleck
23958 Morgan Road
GreenTop, MO 63546

ENTRY FORM (PDF):  2013 OTSM Championships Entry Form

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