Hawick Cornet Gareth is gearing up for the big weekend

Acting Father John Lyle helps lead the cavalcade into Denholm.
Acting Father John Lyle helps lead the cavalcade into Denholm.

Hawick Cornet Gareth Renwick got his first real soaking in the saddle as he led his followers to Denholm on Saturday.

Hawick Cornet Gareth Renwick got his first real soaking in the saddle as he led his followers to Denholm on Saturday.

Party time on the Green at Denholm for the Hawick to Denholm Ride Out on Sayurday, 2nd June 2018. Scottish Borders.

Party time on the Green at Denholm for the Hawick to Denholm Ride Out on Sayurday, 2nd June 2018. Scottish Borders.

But not even the torrential rain could dampen his enthusiasm and love for his common riding, something he says is only going to get bigger and bigger as its main weekend approaches.

“It’s something you look forward to all your life, and if you are lucky enough to get the chance to be cornet, then it’s all about the common riding Friday,” the 22-year-old said.

Gareth led his cavalcade safe oot and safe in again on Saturday’s final rideout to Denholm.

He was led into Denholm on Saturday by the Hawick Scout Pipe Band, with the rain clearing up just in time for the cavalcade’s arrival. The principals enjoyed a meal in the Fox and Hound pub where Gareth was presented with a crystal glass to mark his visit. The remainer of the cavalce, meanwhile, enjoyed a rest on the village green where foot supporters welcomed them from beneath their gazebos.

“I really like Denholm on the way there. It’s a cracking ride. It’s fast going on the way there and there’s always good support on the green. The rain on Saturday didn’t put the crowds off...nothing puts them off.”

The co-called big eight detoured on the way home to pay a visit to the Hornshole memorial.

“It really hits you there. It’s amazing. Even the horses seem to know something is going on as they stand eerily still,” he said.

“It’s really emotional, and it’s the reason we are doing all of this.”

The principals returned to Hornshole on Sunday after the kirking ceremony, where cornet’s lass Jenny Nichol laid a wreath.

By Friday Gareth and acting father John Lyle will have visited each of the town’s schools and care homes in turn, duties which Gareth says are a vital part of the common riding.

“For the old folks, that is their common riding,” he said. “A lot of them can’t get out so it’s good that we can go to them instead.

“And the kids, they’re just excited to see us and even happier that we’re letting them off for the weekend.”

Now thought his thoughts turn to Friday when the common riding weekened proper begins.

“It will just keep getting better by the day until Friday,” Gareth added.

“I can’t wait for it all to start now and I won’t be sleeping tonight, that’s for sure.”