Leigh Holland-Keen Becomes Second Woman Ever to Lift Dinnie Stones

It’s not everyday that we get to cover a legendary strength feat that’s literally only been performed a handful of times over its decades of existence. Luckily for us and yourselves, today is one those days. Australian strength athlete Leigh Holland-Keen recently made history in the sport of strongwoman at the Potarch Bridge in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 

On August 5th, Holland-Keen was competing at the Ardblair Stones at Donald Dinnie Day, The Gathering II. This competition featured multiple stone lifts, but possibly the most notable lift and the topic of this article came in the form of the legendary Dinnie Stones.

The Dinnie Stones are two stones with metal handles that have a cumulative weight of 332.5kg (733 lbs). Individually, the smaller stone weighs 146kg (322 lbs), and the larger comes in at a massive 188kg (414 lbs). At the qualifying competition, Holland-Keen was able to lift the stones, which made her the second female strength athlete to ever do so, and it was epic.

Check it out below.

Since the Dinnie Stones discovery in 1953, only a mere 90 men in total have been able to lift the stones, while only five have been able to hold them for longer than 30-seconds, and only one other woman has ever hoisted them. Who was the one other woman? In 1979, strength legend Jan Todd was the first female strength athlete to lift the Dinnie Stones.

Over the last two months, the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) Scottish Stones of Strength qualifiers have been taking place in Scotland. These four qualifiers serve as the proving grounds for athletes interested in competing at the stone lifting finals at the Blairgowrie and Rattray Highland Games on September 2nd. 

The final qualifier takes place this weekend at the Ardblair Stones at Blairgowrie Rugby & Ale Festival 2018 before the finals in September. We’re pumped to see how the rest of the stone lifting unfolds and if any other legendary feats will be accomplished along the way!

Feature image from @james.grahame.75 Instagram page. 


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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.