Tom and Natasha lead way to Stobs

Tom Grindell and Natasha Gray lead the cavalcade out of Yetholm on Wednesday night.
Tom Grindell and Natasha Gray lead the cavalcade out of Yetholm on Wednesday night.

For 35 years, the cavalcade from Yetholm Festival Week has ventured high into the Cheviots as part of the Stob Stanes tradition.

And that tradition continued last Wednesday, with Bari Gadgi Tom Grindell and Bari Manushi Natasha Gray, the village principals, at the fore.

Grace and Angus Kelly with Janet and Finlay Hogarth at the Stob Stanes ride in Yetholm.

Grace and Angus Kelly with Janet and Finlay Hogarth at the Stob Stanes ride in Yetholm.

But in a slight break from the norm, they did not lead the way alone but enjoyed help from more than 20 youngsters on hobby horses, who led the front of the 144-strong cavalcade out of the village to celebrate the ride’s 35th year.

At Stob Stanes, Stuart Smith carried on the tradition started in 1983 by his father Tom of reading a poem and inviting each rider to dust the stone with petals and make a wish.

The Bari Gadgi said: “We had lots of followers out on Wednesday night and lots of support at the other events too.

“I was obviously seeing it all from a different perspective at the front, but it was amazing to be part of it.

“That was my first ever rideout, and I really enjoyed it and can’t believe I’ve never done one before.”

For Bari Manushi Natasha, a keen follower of past Stob Stanes rides, Wednesday was just as special.

“It was quite surreal, as somebody who has done the rideout before, to be looking around and seeing the view on front with only the chief marshall, then 140 odd horses behind you coming up the hill.

“I had my mum, sister and partner following too so that was quite special.

“As for the rest of the week, we had a few new events. The bubble football was a particular highlight for me!

“There was lots going on and it certainly catered for all ages. The quiz night was massively busy compared to previous years.

“On the riding front it’s going to be really busy from here on in. The next big thing for Yetholm will the Kelso Yetholm ride. I’ve done it for the last three or four years now so it will be nice to see if from a different capacity this time.”

Tom and Natasha will ride at Galashiels, Duns and Jedburgh in the coming weeks before welcoming the Kelso Laddie’s cavalcade to Yetholm later next month.

Mary Tweedie was the youngest rider, and the best-turned-out prizes went to Ella Burton and Abigail Rae. Doug Redpath was the oldest rider.