CORNET Michael Davidson admitted he was “over the moon” at the turnout for Bonchester.
And despite following on horseback for 18 years, he revealed that Saturday was “a different class”.
More than 200 supporters saddled up for this year’s inaugural ride-out as Cornet Davidson led the cavalcade for the very first time.
The early morning sunshine had given way to clouds as the 25-year-old made his way around the Tower Knowe, but his smile lit up the streets as hundreds flocked to cheer their man-of-the-moment.
And Michael admitted it was another fantastic memory at the start of what promises to be an unforgettable five weeks at the helm. He told the Hawick News: “The highlight of the day would have to be coming round the Tower and up the Howegate, the response from the public was unreal and a real buzz.
“When I turned round at Lynwood and looked behind I couldn’t see the back of the riders so I was over the moon with the turnout.”
The heavens opened as the horses made their way over the hills into Bonchester, but the rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of those who had travelled the short distance by foot or by car.
In no time, the showers had ceased and, after a visit to Weens House by the Big Eight, the Cornet and his mounted followers were graced with sunshine on what turned out to be a fast run back to town.
What awaited them was yet another special moment for Michael. He added: “Past years at Bonchester don’t even come close. This was a different class.
“Coming up Weensland and along the High Street was special. There were huge crowds at the end of every road and coming round the Tower Knowe was a blur, there were so many people.
“It was everything I hoped for and in the coming weeks I know it’s only going to get better.”
Acting Father Grahame Nichol was another who was awestruck by the occasion. He said: “It was just magic. Absolutely fantastic. Coming round the Tower Knowe, what a buzz, and it was the same coming back into the town.
“The kindness and support has been unbelievable.
“At Bonchester the hospitality was first class and the visit to Weens House was very touching and something I really enjoyed.”
n Matthew Young has confirmed he can’t wait to get back in the saddle for tomorrow’s ride-out to Roberton after suffering a nasty fall last week.
He said: “It was just a wee tumble.I went to the BGH for x-rays, but there was nothing broken, just a slight ligament strain.
“You’ve got to get straight back on the horses. I’m champing at the bit for Saturday, it can’t come quick enough.”