Monday 30 May 2011

The Big One!

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.

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.  Last Tuesday the 'ride out' went to Priesthaugh Farm but the main ride-out, usually two weeks before the Common-Riding weekend, is the twenty-four mile ride to Mosspaul and back.  This is a big ride...over rough terrain..up hills, down valleys and through forests out into the Borderland hills where the weather usually does it's worst....the weather forecast was not good and after last weeks drenching it was a tough decision weather to ride or not as the weather at home that morning was a little rough to say the least!

But we got everything ready and made the decision at 10.45 to load up the horses and off we all went...

Here they are ready to go muster at Backdamgate for a 12.00 start......

Here's Kyle and his Granda heading off up The Loan...ten minutes later there was a really rough hailstone storm.....agghhhh!

This is the first gallop of this ride at Pilmuir...can be a bit tricky but luckily there were only two fallers....hopefully no serious riding is a very high risk sport especially when riding small ponies in among these big horses...Kyle is lucky to have the support of his Dad and Granda!

At the by Fieron

Kyle arriving with his Dad at by Fieron

Kyle was lucky to have a hauder (holder) booked for his pony.....

We picked a good place for a snack....

Time to go back to Hawick.....

What a great photo!
This one photograph makes all of the worry worthwhile!

Sorry didn't mean to leave anyone out...flat battery!

Arriving back in Hawick at 8.15's been a long hard day...

I'd like to thank everyone for viewing my photos, videos and blog over the past few weeks and for all of the emails and's great that everyone can share in this momentous occasion.....In previous years I have ridden this and the other Saturday isn't always easy and the riders can hit many obstacles along the way..... Kyle has come so far over the past few weeks in his riding ability and confidence....Kyle you are our 'Hero'!


  1. Good job Kyle! I've really enjoying seeing the ride-outs. Thanks for sharing with us Kay. :D

  2. Well done Kyle - seemed quite a blustery day! But at least there's a pony/horse to keep you warm - unless you are one of the bystanders

  3. Granddad's and kyle's horses are beautiful! :)


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