Hot to trot as sun shines on Melrose festival

The Melrosian Sam Thomson fords The Tweed with his right and left hand men Graeme Crawford and Ruaridh Nairn during monday's Melrose Festival rideout.
The Melrosian Sam Thomson fords The Tweed with his right and left hand men Graeme Crawford and Ruaridh Nairn during monday's Melrose Festival rideout.

Prayers seem to have been answered in Melrose that the recent glorious summer weather continues for this week’s festival.

Warm and sunny conditions saw large crowds of spectators and big numbers of young footballers throng the town’s Gibson Park for the five-a-side football tournament on Sunday.

The Cavalcade ford the tweed during the Melrose Festival ride on monday.

The Cavalcade ford the tweed during the Melrose Festival ride on monday.

There was also a good turnout for the kirkin’ of Melrosian Sam Thomson and the laying of a wreath at the local war memorial on Sunday morning.

Monday night and more glorious conditions saw 190 horses and riders manage to cross the Tweed for the first time since 2010.

There was only one mishap which resulted in a young female rider being taken to hospital as a precaution.

Festival chairman James Marjoribanks is delighted with the way this week’s programme of events is progressing.

The Cavalcade ford the tweed during the Melrose Festival ride on monday.

The Cavalcade ford the tweed during the Melrose Festival ride on monday.

“Such great weather really makes it. We are enjoying fantastic turnouts and it was tremendous that the mounted cavalcade was able to cross the river for Monday night’s ride-out.

“One person was taken to hospital purely as a precaution and I’m happy to report there were no casualties.

“Young Sam Thomson is also doing a very good job as Melrosian, ably supported by his Right and Left-Hand Men in the shape of Graeme Crawford and Ruaridh Nairn.”

Tuesday night saw further large crowds for the fancy dress and it was hoped continuing good weather would see last night’s bike ride and – a festival first for this year – the following family barbecue at Annay Road, also well attended.

Still to come are the installation ceremonies in the grounds of Melrose Abbey tonight, followed by the Festival Ball tomorrow and then Saturday’s Tour of Ceremonies.