A new strain of woolly haggis proved tempting quarry for seasoned hunters at the Selkirk Haggis Hunt on Sunday.
In fact it proved so intriguiing that a record-breaking 500 hunters were clocked heading up Selkirk Hill, armed with baggie nets and sticks, for the traditional cull.
From humble beginnings by a few customers at the Town Arms Inn 15 years ago, the hunt is now a well-established source of haggis control and supply in the run up to Burns night.
Hunters, dressed in tartan and tweed, enjoyed a stirrup cup in Market Place before being piped up the hill by the Towns Arm Band. After a brief stop to dance the haggis polka, to the tune of Riddle Fiddles, the hunters took to the hill to flush out the Chieftains o’ the Pudding Race.
The finest haggis was piped around the Chinese Hut three times, addressed by Matthew Burgess and toasted by happy hunters clutching their catch.
Davey Scott, joint master of the hunt, said: “I suspect people were obviously very anxious to catch this new strain of haggis. I would urge anyone lucky enough to catch one to keep it for prosperity as who knows when we will see them again.”
This cull once again proved a peaceful one with no saboteurs spotted.
“There was not a spot of bother,” Davey added. “The whole valley was full of people in the sunshine. There were kids, pushchairs, dogs all looking like they were justing enjoying a real picnic atmosphere in the middle of January.
“The number of children who turned out was brilliant. It was all-inclusive. A reall community event run by the community, for the community.
“It as absolutely fantastic.”
He also paid tribute to the local breeders who ensured haggis numbers on the hill were plentiful.
“Business is tight these days and all of the town’s businesses and individuals who support the hunt are giving us things for nothing,” Davey said. “They are happy to do that and we are grateful.”