Junior event rides high in popularity stakes

Junior Ride-out
Junior Ride-out

LARGE crowds lined the entire route for last Thursday’s second annual Junior Ride which has firmly established itself on the Common-Riding calendar.

A total of 66 youngsters took part in the event, organised again by Cornet’s groom Sally Niven in a bid to involve those too young for ride-outs. And with huge crowds on the route from the Common Haugh to the museum, walled gardens, Overhall and Wilton Dean to cheer on the cavalcade led by the Big Four – as well as children from Selkirk, Galashiels, Stow, Langholm, Kelso and Jedburgh taking part – it is certainly a new local tradition.

Sally told the Hawick News: “These are our future Cornets and Cornet’s Lasses so I am absolutely delighted it’s going from strength to strength. We had a good mix and it’s amazing that mums and dads are willing to hire a pony for under an hour. It means such a lot to the youngsters to follow the Cornet, they are so pleased.”

The hotly-contested shield for best turned-out rider and pony – judged by Sandra Ewart and Sarah the vet – was won by Robyn Crawford – who was presented with the special award. Mrs Ewart, joint donor of the shield, commented: “Last year was the centenary of when our grandfather, Andrew Douglas Haddon, was Cornet, and we wanted to mark the occasion. Between myself, my brother Andrew Haddon and the Big Four, we decided donating a trophy for the Junior Ride would be a great way to commemorate his 100th year, and we are thrilled the event is such a success. I’m sure my grandfather would have been delighted.”

Second place went to Jasmine Parrish; 3, Leah Dodd; 4, Molly Marshall; 5, Ava Scott; 6,Greg Farish.

Cornet Michael Davidson added: “It’s just brilliant to give young riders who aren’t confident enough or too young to do a full ride-out, the chance to follow the Cornet.

“There was a real buzz in the Haugh and it’s great to get such a good turnout, as these riders are our future, and perhaps even one or two Cornets! A big thank you to Sally for all her hard work.”