AS temperatures are starting to drop, one girl who relishes the cold is Peebles' rising star of ice-skating Katie Cassidy.

The 14-year-old is about to embark on the next step of a remarkable rise up the ranks at ice-rinks across the country.

After regularly striking gold in the novice and regional grades during her first year of competition, the Peebles High pupil was promoted to National Class last winter.

And her technical and artistic progress has continued with many eye-catching performances at major competitions.

Katie, who rises at 4am each morning to travel to Murrayfield for training, reached new heights in August as she competed in the international Tayside Trophy in Dundee.

Finishing a highly-creditable seventh out of 23 senior competitors, the teenager earned her highest ever score of 19.30 points.

Her technical scoring in Dundee also saw her qualify for a move up to National Level Two.

Katie bowed out of National Level One competitions a fortnight ago with a silver medal.

Of the 21 girls competing at the Aberdeen Open, the Peebles skater was just 0.64 points behind the eventual winner.

Katie, who trains at Murrayfield Ice Rink six days a week, will now move onto National Level Two competitions in the new year.

Dad Brian told us: "Katie's day often starts at 4am to get to training in Edinburgh before school and then goes back to the ice rink for more training in the evening.

"She has done exceptionally well - and, if anything, she is even more committed to ice-skating now than she's ever been."