New breed of haggis found on the hill

Young Harris Third finds a sensible mode of transport after making his big catch.
Young Harris Third finds a sensible mode of transport after making his big catch.
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Intrepid hunters may have found a new breed of haggis on Selkirk Hill during Sunday’s successful annual event.

The Great Selkirk Haggis Hunt 2018 attracted slightly fewer people (350 hunters in all and about 30 “sniffer” dogs) than last year, but given the snowy conditions, there were more than could reasonably have been expected.

The icy roads made the traditional haggis polka at the Argus Centre – with music brilliantly provided by Riddell Fiddles and Bannerfield Buskers – a tricky affair, but there were more dancers than ever.

Once on the hill, the deep snow proved to be no obstacle to the many children (and adults) intent on finding a haggis for their supper.

And after the hunt, the slope down to the “Chinese Hut” provided a new attraction, as the youngsters came down the easiest way – on their bottoms – before climbing back up for another go.

Organiser Davie Scott told us: “I think it’s been fantastic. Look at the people, lots of smiling faces.

“It’s started to snow again, and nobody’s greeting.

“It’s a great day, because all these people have made it great.”

As well as the common, vegetarian and ready meal varieties, a mutant strain of the haggis was also found this year, which coincidentally fits nicely in a morning roll.

Davie said: “There does seem to be a new mutation. Some of the kids have caught almost flat ones.

“I managed to secure one for myself, and I’m going to send it to the Royal Zoological Society in Edinburgh to see whether it is a mutation or a completely different breed we haven’t come across before.”

Davie also thanked the various establishments – butchers and supermarkets – who helped “rear” the day’s catch, as well as the many volunteers who ensured the hunt ran smoothly.

He said: “There are so many people without whom this day would not take place. I thank them all for their continued kindness.”

The event began 11 years ago, as a bit of a jolly jape between a few of the locals of the Town Arms pub in Selkirk’s West Port.

Over the years, it has continued to grow, and now hundreds of children and adults from all over the Borders attend the hunt, when they are given a badge of honour and a certificate.