A glorious summer evening greeted the 181-strong mounted cavalcade that saddled up for Monday night’s Melrosian’s rideout.
Despite good weather, however, recent heavy rains meant the traditional crossing of the Tweed was cancelled on safety grounds and riders went via the alternative road route.
But festival chairman James Marjoribanks said the lack of a river crossing did nothing to dent anyone’s enjoyment of the evening.
“It was a very good turnout for the rideout. It was a shame we couldn’t cross the river but the professional advice was that the water was just too high and too strong.
“However, the cancellation of the crossing didn’t deter people from having a good time. We had a lot of visiting principals and it was nice to be able to return their hospitality.” Mr Marjoribanks said Melrosian Fraser Anderson performed his duties excellently.
He said: “For a young rider, he did really well, leading all the way and there was a great amount of goodwill towards him.
“Now we have to hope for some more good weather for Thursday night at the abbey!”
The festival began with Sunday’s kirkin’ of the Melrosian, followed by the rideout and Tuesday’s fancy dress, before the community bike ride last night.
Tonight (Thursday) it is the crowning and installation ceremonies at Melrose Abbey. Tomorrow night sees the ball, followed by Saturday’s tour of villages and ceremonies at the abbey and sports.