Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Roberton Ride Out 2014

OK, for those of you who have asked, rather than re-inventing the wheel, I've taken some text and included a link to information about the Hawick's Common Riding.

THE Hawick Common-Riding is the first of the Border festivals and celebrates both the capture of an English Flag in 1514 by the youth of Hawick at a place called Hornshole and the ancient custom of riding the marches or boundaries of the common land.

The Cornet for the year is elected at the beginning of May, well in advance of the festival proper, when the Provost's Council, on the recommendation of the two previous Cornets (called the Right and Left-Hand Men) invites a young man to act as Cornet. The Halberdier, accompanied by the Drum and Fife Band, carries an official letter of invitation to the nominated Cornet. Invitation accepted, the Officer is rewarded with a new “shilling” and asked to carry the Cornet's letter of acceptance back to the waiting Council. Afterwards the Cornet with his two predecessors walk round the older parts of the town before attending a congratulatory Smoker. From then until the festival is over the Cornet is an honoured figure in Hawick. The first recorded Cornet was in 1703 and other than the World Wars there has been an unbroken line to the present day.

In the weeks preceding the actual Common-Riding, on each Saturday and Tuesday, the Cornet and his supporters are out on their ride-outs in the course of which they visit surrounding villages and farms. The main ride-out, however, usually two weeks before the Common-Riding weekend, is the twenty-four mile ride to Mosspaul and back.

Click on this link for more about Hawick Common Riding

So, last Saturday's 'Ride Out' was to Roberton, that's where we live.  We travelled down to Hawick with Tessa in the trailer, at 1.30pm Kyle joined the 7 mile ride back to Roberton, around about 14 miles including the return ride. At the Drinkstone road end 305 horses passed by.... yes, 305 horses and riders, the previous highest countfor this ride was 220, but this is a special year and the weather was fabulous.

There were a few fallers on this first gallop so I had to edit out a few long waits while the horses were held back at the first gate....always an anxious time as some of the horses and riders are not lucky enough to gallop or cater out in the open on a regular basis.

We had a picnic there while the horses had a rest then Kyle saddled up and rode off again.

Saddled up and ready to leave again.  Kyle looks wonderful riding my horse, but I'm guessing next year he will be too big for her.

 The Cornet, Right and Left Hand Men and the Acting Father on the coloured horse behind.

We then went home to pick up Bess while Fi changed into her riding clothes ready to join in with the ride from the race course.

Fieron saddle up and ready to join in....looking really smart both Bess (14hh) and Fieron who is now 12 years old

We then hurried back into Hawick to meet the horses arriving back in town at 8.30 pm......another busy day.


  1. Kay, that was a great video to watch. Although I do hope the riders who fell were not injured badly. The kids and their mounts looked fabulous! How exciting for you to watch them carry on such a tradition. Bess looks fabulous! Is she the mare that was having a rest period for a while? Kyle looks great and I think you're right, he might outgrow his mount. Onwards and upwards! It must have been quite an amazing sight to see 303 horses and riders! Thanks so much for sharing, I thoroughly enjoy following your family and your horses!

  2. It's so great that your area has these traditions! Loved the video, and thank you for the explanations. The horse are beautiful! What breed are they?


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