Ali leads the way as common riding continues

Hawick Cornet Ali George and his right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Gregor Hepburn lead the cavalcade to Lilliesleaf.
Hawick Cornet Ali George and his right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Gregor Hepburn lead the cavalcade to Lilliesleaf.

The huge support shown for Hawick Cornet Ali George continued this week despite less appealing weather.

More than 190 riders followed him to Roberton on Saturday, with a further 72 taking part in Tuesday’s ride to Lilliesleaf.

Right hand-man Euan Reilly makes his way off the Moor near Harden during the rideout to Roberton.

Right hand-man Euan Reilly makes his way off the Moor near Harden during the rideout to Roberton.

And Ali was delighted to see numbers up on both rideouts. He said: “The weather wasn’t actually too bad. We only had one shower yesterday. We have been really lucky, and it didn’t put anybody off.

“The support has been great again, and we had a lot of folk out to see us in and out of the town at both rides.”

With the last of the Border principals now announced, Ali welcomed the first of the 2017 principals as followers on horseback this week.

He said: “The Selkirk Royal Burgh Standard Bearer was riding at Lilliesleaf, and the Melrosian followed last week for his first ride too, and I think he was keen to get one under his belt.”

Riders take a breather in Roberton.

Riders take a breather in Roberton.

The rides continue tonight with around 80 children taking part in a junior ride leaving the Common Haugh at 6.30pm.

Saturday sees Ali lead a cavalcade to Philhope Bridge, leaving Backdamgate at 12.30pm and arriving at Philhope Bridge at 3.30pm. The riders head back at 5.30pm, returning to Tower Knowe at 8pm.

Tuesday’s ride to Priesthaugh leaves Backdamgate at 2pm, arriving at 4pm. Riders leave again at 6pm and will return at 8pm.

Cornet Ali George, his right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Acting Father Ronnie Frost give youngsters a shoulder lift on their return from Roberton.

Cornet Ali George, his right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Acting Father Ronnie Frost give youngsters a shoulder lift on their return from Roberton.

Right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Greogr Hepburn ready to leave for Roberton.

Right and left-hand men Euan Reilly and Greogr Hepburn ready to leave for Roberton.

Acting Father Ronnie Frost ready to leave for Roberton.

Acting Father Ronnie Frost ready to leave for Roberton.

The cavalcade arrives at Roberton.

The cavalcade arrives at Roberton.

Hawick Cornet Ali George and his Lass Katy Moffat.

Hawick Cornet Ali George and his Lass Katy Moffat.

The Cornet, his right and left-hand men and Acting Father lead the singing at Roberton.

The Cornet, his right and left-hand men and Acting Father lead the singing at Roberton.

Riders cross the Teviot and Allan Water on Roberton rideout.

Riders cross the Teviot and Allan Water on Roberton rideout.

Hawick Cornet Ali George leads the cavalcade back into Hawick from Roberton.

Hawick Cornet Ali George leads the cavalcade back into Hawick from Roberton.