Banner Blue will be in safe hands

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TO the sound of drum and fife a beaming Michael Davidson was last night officially confirmed as Hawick Cornet.

The 25-year-old tree surgeon was delivered a letter of invitation to fulfil the post at his home in O’Connell Street and escorted to the Town Hall where he readily accepted.

Teries cheered and despite the tradition of a midweek pickin’ night the celebrations went on into the wee sma’ hours.

Michael is a Common Riding stalwart and followed his first Cornet Rory Culton in 1993 astride his pony, Rupert.

He enthused: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed Hawick Cornet for the year 2011 and to follow in the long line of illustrious Cornets that have gone before.

“I cannot wait to carry the Banner Blue and lead the townsfolk in yet another great year. Along with my family, I wish Teries and visitors alike, a glorious Common Riding.”

The new Cornet is the only son of Mick and Elaine Davidson and he has a sister Linzi, 20, who is student at Napier University in Edinburgh.

After Trinity Primary and Hawick High School Michael tried his hand as an apprentice joiner but could not divorce himself from his love of horses and joined trainer Nicky Richards at his Greystoke stables. His charges included the Scottish Champion hurdler Noble Alan and the Grade One chaser Money Trix. Since January he has worked with Selkirk-based Eclipse Tree Surgery.

Michael captained Hawick Wanderers and turned out for the Trades and the ’Quins.

The Cornet’s Lass this year is his sweetheart Kirsteen Hill, 23, an administrator and receptionist with solicitors Bannerman and Burke. Their romance began at the high school and blossomed.

Kirsteen told TheSouthern: “It was love at first sight. I am really looking forward to be being by Michael’s side as Cornet’s Lass. After last night, the greatest moment for me will be the Colour Bussin’.”

This year’s Acting Father and Mother are Grahame and Wendy Nichol, also Common Riding enthusiasts.

Grahame has worked with John Leadetter who coached local horse Rubstic to Grand National victory.