Both the Cornet and Acting Father admit they wish the Common-Riding rollercoaster would slow down, ahead of tomorrow’s outing to Mosspaul.
All roads lead to the historic spot as the Big Four and their followers embark on their penultimate ride-out, and for Cornet Ross Gibson, pictured on Tuesday’s Philhope Brig ride, at the front, it will mark a day of mixed emotions.
He told the Hawick News: “I really can’t believe all thoughts are on Mosspaul now, I want everything to slow down, but at the same time, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Cornet Gibson says he is especially looking forward to meeting fellow principals from other towns, and lightheartedly admits he may be apprehensive as the first rider to hit the renowned “first field” at Pilmuir.
But alluding to another special moment, Ross revealed: “I’m especially looking forward to reaching Northhouse on the way home as I help out there, and I’m friends with the family, that will be memorable.”
But of course the beat of the big bass drum on their return is also foremost in Ross’s mind, the 24-year-old adding: “Coming in behind the band is going to be something else, but I don’t want tomorrow to go too quickly.”
And despite having ridden Mosspaul many times, Acting Father Alan Gray also admits he is eagerly anticipating tomorrow. “I can’t believe everything is going so fast, but I can’t wait. Meeting the other principals will be special, and coming in behind the band is bound to be emotional.”
The pair led another large turnout at Tuesday’s outing to Philhope Bridge, with an estimated 98 horses saddling up for the long journey. And Cornet Gibson says it was another day for the memory box. “It was a perfect number”, he stated.
The ride-out was without incident, although earlier warm weather gave way to a cold wind and eventually rain. But it did nothing to stop Cornet Gibson being able to chalk up another successful day at the helm.
Describing one highlight, the Cornet added: “On the way home we were all cantering together. It was a great ride-out.”
And on their return to the town, once again Teries ensured the Cornet reveived a warm welcome. Describing his gratitude, Cornet Gibson stated: “Even on a Tuesday when people have been working, there are still big crowds there to cheer us back in, it’s humbling.”
Tomorrow the horses leave Backdamgate at noon via the Howegate, Loan, Nipknowes, Pilmuir Field, onto the Allan Water, Skelfhill, Phaup and Linhope. They arrive at 3pm. They depart Mossppaul at 5pm via Linhope, Phaup, Northhouse, Broadhaugh, Allan Water, Whichesters, Goldielands, Buccleuch Road. The Saxhorn Band will lead the cavalcade from Volunteer Park, arriving at Tower Knowe for 8.15pm. Tuesday times are identical.