Tributes paid after tragic shotgun accident death

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A PACKED town hall rose to its feet and observed a moment of silence in memory of Adam Hepburn at the Cornet’s Congratulatory Smoker on Wednesday night.

The tribute to the young farmer, pictured above, was observed by more than 200 men in attendance, many of them friends of the popular horseman and Common-Riding enthusiast, who died in the early hours that morning following a shooting accident on his family’s Northhouse Farm.

Leading the mark of respect ahead of proceedings, Common-Riding Committee chairman Stuart Marshall said: “Adam was a great supporter of our Common-Riding, a great friend of our new Cornet and to many of us in this hall. I know Adam was thrilled when he learned that his great friend Chris Ritson was to be Cornet for 2013.”

News of Mr Hepburn’s death shocked the town when it was confirmed that the 22-year old had died from wounds sustained as a result of a firearms discharge, the incident occurring at around 11.45pm on Tuesday night. Although Mr Hepburn died at Borders General Hospital, the Hawick News understands that he was initially rushed to Hawick Community Hospital in a Freelander 4x4. The vehicle remained parked outside the Victoria Road facility on Wednesday while a police investigation got under way.

Describing the impact of the tragedy, Mr Marshall stated: “The Hepburn family are not only a farming family, they are steeped in our Common-Riding, and have shown great kindness and support over many years.

“I extend on your behalf our deepest sympathies to Adam’s mum and dad, Kathryn and Ian, his brothers Gregor and John, his partner Stephanie and young son Oliver.”

Tributes have also been paid by Harlquins RFC president Alan Bell, who told the Hawick News: “Adam was fun-loving, in company he was a star-turn. He was a super rugby player, one of the up-and-coming players until suffering a knee problem.”

The Quins have cancelled a Cornet’s smoker due to take place on Sunday as a mark of respect.

Mr Marshall added: “Adam’s love of our Common-Riding and the many friends he has made over the years will never be forgotten and neither will the young man himself.”