Proud Melrosian Ruaridh Nairn

Melrose Rideout. Melrose Festival, monday.
Melrose Rideout. Melrose Festival, monday.
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THREE riders had to be airlifted to hospital on Monday night, after falling from their horses during the only rideout of this year’s Melrose Festival.

However, the three injured riders, who were unseated at Gattonside Heights, were not seriously hurt, according to joint chairman and president, George Bunyan.

“The three fallers were taken to hospital by helicopter, but my understanding is that they were not seriously injured and that it was really only as a precaution,” Mr Bunyan told TheSouthern.

The Melrosian’s Rideout, which always takes place on the Monday of festival week, saw 204 riders and their mounts enjoy glorious weather.

Mr Bunyan told us: “Other than those incidents, the rideout went very well, with a very good turnout of 204, which was excellent. Unfortunately, due to the heavy rainfall over the preceding two or three days, it meant the cavalcade could not ford the Tweed as the water level was higher than acceptable.

“However, overall I would say the event went very well and everyone is now looking forward to the rest of festival week.”

This year’s festival began on Sunday with a wreath-laying service at the town’s war memorial on the Weirhill, which was followed by a church service to mark the kirkin’ of this year’s Melrosian, Ruaridh Nairn, and the inauguration of the 2011 festival.

Queen Elect, Kirsty Davidson, and her Court and the Melrosian, and a large group of ex-Melrosians, had drawn many friends and supporters to the occasion.

This was followed by the football fives, Tuesday night’s fancy dress parade and, last night, the Community Bike Ride.