Looking Forward to Hawick Common Riding

Posted on 2nd Jun 2017 Categories: News

That’s me back from the Chase. I got Billy safely up the Nipknowes and into The Hut (a large shed on St. Leonards Farm on the outskirts of Hawick). For those of you who are not locals, the Chase represents the Hawick youths victorious return from Hornshole in 1514 when the brave young lads captured the flag from the English after the Battle of Flodden, thus saving the town and giving Hawick its first Cornet.

This is the start of a big week for me; Hawick Common Riding. Every horse loves to take part in this jubilant occasion and I’m no exception. When Thursday morning dawns, Billy and I will be ready! My coat will be gleaming, my tail braided and Billy will be looking dapper in his riding attire. We’ll do the Chase all over again but this time with the unbussed flag in our sights entrusted to our 2017 Cornet, the proud Ali George.

Friday and we’ll be off again, it’s the “Big Day” and my favourite part - the Procession. At precisely 8:45am the whole town will come to life as the cavalcade led by Cornet George, makes its way around the town. The Banner Blue bussed the previous night by the beautiful Cornets Lass Katy will be billowing in the breeze and if God is a Hawick man, the sun will be shining brightly on our grey auld toon.

As we approach the iconic Horse monument, the band will be in full swing and folk of all ages lining the streets waving flags and cheering. Cars decorated in blue and yellow transport the Lassies and official guests. My ears will be pricked and my hooves dancing to the beat of “Teribus” – it’s my Valegro moment but I don’t need a medal. As Billy says, “It’s an absolute pleasure to take part.”

I’ll get a bit of a rest when Billy goes to The Hut, I’m sure I’ll hear him singing. Next, it’ll be off to Ride the Marches. I’ll get a good gallop past Williestruther and Acreknowe then onto the town’s hallowed ground “The Mair”. There’s horse racing (I’m a bit old now but note I am a previous winner), picnics, sing songs and catching up with friends old and new whilst possibly partaking in Hawick’s traditional tipple, Rum & Milk.

Saturday starts in a more sombre mood with the laying of wreaths at the war memorial. We’ll then head back to The Mair until the afternoon when with heavy heart and hooves we will make our way back to the Town Hall to hand the flag back “unsullied and unstained”. It’s always an emotional occasion as “Invocation” is played and the Cornet lowers the flag whilst the crowd and horses are silent.


 That’s Hawick Common Riding through my eyes but why not come to Hawick and experience it for yourself? After all, it’s “fer better felt than telt”