Craig takes up the reins

LOCAL lad Craig Rodgerson will be swapping his Greens jersey for a green jacket over the next few weeks.

The 26-year-old Hawick RFC player was this week picked as the town's Cornet for 2004.

Since his first ride-out in 1983, when he followed his uncle, Ex-Cornet John Hogg, Craig has always dreamed of carrying the Banner Blue, now the former Trinity Primary School pupil, who is the only son of Robert and Irene Rodgerson, of Twirlees Terrace, is savouring every moment.

Speaking to the 'News' following his election on Wednesday night, a shell-shocked Craig told us: "It was absolutely brilliant. I got a real shock when I walked out and saw all those people, it was a great feeling and amazing to see them all.

"Since I started following, being the Cornet is something I always wanted. It's been a life-long ambition and I'm really chuffed it's here now."

As well as being a Common Riding stalwart, Cornet Rodgerson, is also a regular on the sports pitch. He was part of league-winning teams with Hawick Albion, PSA, Trades and Hawick seconds, which he captained.

He has represented South of Scotland at each age group level from under-16 to under-21 and has turned out for the Robbie Dyes on 20 occasions.

But it is the short game Craig enjoys most, having played in a PSA squad which won six out of seven tournaments in a season and has two SDU winners medals to his credit. He played in the Hawick Sevens last year and is currently part of this season's set up.

Craig has won nearly 20 Cornets' races, seven times on his own feisty black thoroughbred Tucker's Boy (Fred), however, his mount for the festivities is Cool Yule, who has won six Point to Points and two Hunter Chases. He has also been placed many times in his career and is now enjoying a well-earned retirement.

Cornet's Lass

The Cornet's Lass for 2004 is 20-year-old Amy Warden.

The former Drumlanrig Primary School pupil, who is currently studying nursing at Napier University, is the only daughter of Robert and Irene Warden, of Skelfhill Farm, and the younger sister of Neil, Michael and Alistair.

At a young age Amy started riding with Eskdale Pony Club, where she is still an active member, and today most of her hobbies revolve around horses. She enjoys hunting with the Jedforest and Liddesdale Hunts and can be seen at local racecourses leading her favourite racehorse Extra Pound for WA Racing of Newmill.

And as a member of Hawick RFC she watches Craig play rugby whenever possible.

Craig's horse is very special to the Cornet's Lass as she used to qualify him to Point to Point for the season and lead him up at race meetings.

Acting Father

The important and exacting duties of the Acting Father are undertaken this year by Cornet Rodgerson's friend and work colleague, Ian Reid of 'Reidmount', Rosebank Road.

The father of two — Nikki and Craig — is an enthusiastic supporter of the Common Riding and has followed for nearly 30 years.

He is a former president of the 1514 Club and helped look after the Cornets' horses for four year.

Ian's wife Jane will take up the prestigious role of Acting Mother.