Teries’ charity gallop

Brian Bouglas who is riding Rocco the horse for MacMillan Cancer Support from Hawick to Bowhill.

Brian Bouglas who is riding Rocco the horse for MacMillan Cancer Support from Hawick to Bowhill.

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THREE Teries who were planning to raise money through sponsored rides, found out about each other’s plans and have set up a single outing for charity on May Day.

Brian Bouglas, who owns Hawick’s Great Outdoors shop, accounts assistant Pam Turnbull and drystane dyker and Common Riding marshall Mick Robertson have organised the return horse ride from Hawick to Bowhill on May 1 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

“I came up with the idea but at the same time Mike and Pam were thinking along the same lines and we got together. The ride is through beautiful countryside and we want as many people interested in raising as much money as possible. It’s for a very good cause,” said Mr Bouglas.

Until about 15 years ago, the Farish family of Hawick organised a sponsored ride before the town’s Common Riding rideouts which many women rode.

Mr Bouglas said: “It helped people try their horses before the rideouts and it was a shorter distance. My daughter Pamela used to go.”

It was partly memories of that ride that sparked the idea but also the death – and care by Macmillan nurses – of his father John last year after a battle with liver cancer.

Mr Bouglas said: “One in three people get cancer: it’s pretty scary. This ride is giving back – if people can give something back but get something out of it themselves too, it’s a good experience for everybody.”

Riders wil leave the Common Haugh and head up Drinkstone Hill before making their way via Outer Huntly to Oakwoodmill and over the Ettrick Water to Bowhill, near Selkirk.

All three organisers will be on horseback, though Mr Bouglas describes himself as a novice.

“The last time I was on a horse was 26 years ago. I wasn’t very good then and I’m not very good now!”

But last year he bought a 16-hand Friesian, now five years old, and returned to his brief teenage hobby.

“Work commitments took me away all the time, I’m trying to get a bit of quality of life back. I thought it was a good idea and just went out and got a horse, without telling Elaine, my wife.”

Then he drove Elaine past the stables and told her: “I’ve got something that will keep me at home more: there he is. She was amused.”

Asked what he gets from horseriding, he replied: “Enjoyment, because you are at one with the horse. I’m in business and when you get out on the horse you switch off.”

Miss Turnbull, who has been interested in horses all her life and is a memebr of Ettrick Forest Riders Club, said: “It’s going to be a leisurely ride, it’s not going to be mad gallops, just an enjoyable ride.

“We are going to be passing Drinkstone Hill, going along forest tracks and crossing the river at Oakwoodmill and that will be nice as well – it’s just going to be a mixture of everything.”

But she cautioned that the ride is probably not for beginners: “People are going to be in the saddle for quite a while and they need to be able to control their horse in open country.”

She explained her involvement: “I thought it would be nice to be able to thank the Macmillan Centre for all the help they give people. The nurses do a fantastic job.”

Sponsor forms went out to countryside stores in Hawick, Selkirk, Earlston, Mounthooly near Jedburgh and Duns two weeks ago and riders have to raise a minimum of £25 to take part in the approximately 18-mile return outing.

There will be a prize for the best turned out horse and rider presented at Bowhill where there will also be a raffle.

The rideout will set out at 10am and is expected to return at 5pm including a 90-minute stop at Bowhill. For more information ring Mr Bouglas on 07760201136. To donate see www.justgiving.com/Pam-Turnbull