Cornet Michael Davidson says it will be a “dream come true” when he leads the first ride-out to Bonchester Bridge tomorrow.
Hawick’s man of the moment has been describing his emotions as he prepares to take the helm of not only every Teries’ Common-Riding, but his first ever cavalcade.
Speaking to the Hawick News, Michael said: “I feel very special to lead the ride-out on Saturday, it is a dream come true.
“It’ll be so special to look over my shoulder at the cavalcade and see all my followers.”
And the excited 25-year-old says he will be praying not only for good weather, but that townsfolk turn out to show their support.
He said: “I hope we’re lucky with the weather and everyone comes back safe and sound, both riders and horses. And I hope I get a good following both on horse and foot, and it will be a great start to the ride-outs.”
The horses leave Backdamgate at 1pm via Slitrig to Coliforthill then Birnie to Shipla’ Cross, Howahill via Swan Shiel to Hobkirk Church, arriving at Bonchester at 3.30pm. After the popular picnic, the cavalcade will depart Bonchester at 5.30pm via Weens House to Hawthornside, Sunnyside Road-end to Orchard House, then Coach Road to Beechurst, and Weensland Road, arriving at Tower Knowe for 8.15pm.
For Cornet Davidson finally getting the ride-outs under way is the culmination of months of preparation and expectation, and he says tomorrow will see him realising moments he has already played over in his mind.
“Since January, all I’ve been thinking about is coming round the Tower Knowe for the first time”, he admitted. “I think it’ll be an unforgetable experience seeing the townsfolk of Hawick lining the streets for us.”
On Tuesday, Michael will back in the saddle to lead his followers to Cogsmill, but the new incumbent says he hopes history doesn’t repeat itself on the way home.
He joked: “Tuesday will be a nice relaxed ride hopefully, although the ditches on the way out of Cogsmill have claimed the last two Cornets so I hope it’s third time lucky! You always get a good sing-song in the hall as well so it’ll be another great day.”
The horses leave Backdamgate at 2pm via the Loan, to Williestruther, Acreknowe to Shakend Foot, arriving at Cogsmill at 4pm. They will depart Cogsmill at 6.30pm, via Adderstonshiels to Sunnyside and Wellogate, arriving Tower Knowe at 8pm.
Looking ahead to the start of his dream come true, Cornet Davidson added: “The last few weeks have flown in since we finished the farm visits, and I just hope the next five don’t go as fast.
“There’s been a few sleepless nights, but I can’t wait to get it all started now.”