The unique sound of hooves clattering up and down the streets of Wigtown this Sunday evening will be a memorable and stirring spectacle for riders and spectators alike.
The Wigtown Riding of the Marches has been resurrected after a break of over 50 years and organiser Andrew Wilson confirmed that at least 40 horses and riders are getting their tack and boots polished and manes and tails plaited, ahead of the event.
As is traditional, the Cornet, Stewart McGregor, Cornet’s Lass Katy Jones, Ensign Mhàiri McConnel and Marshall Lyndsey Wilson will be invested at Wigtown Parish Church in the morning of the riding, as part of the morning service, which will include their ‘kirking’. The principles will lay a wreath at the war memorial, after the service.
At seven in the evening all the riders, led by the principals, will set off from the old showfield along Harbour Road, South Main Street, North Main Street, Bank Street, Moss of Cree Road, West Kirkland, Kirkland Terrace, Wigtown Road / New Road, North Main Street, Agnew Crescent, down into Bladnoch, back along the B7005 to Trammondford, up the B733 into Lightlands Avenue, Station Road, Harbour Street before finishing back in South Main Street.
Andrew said: “Stewart McGregor will be given a copy of the Royal Burgh charter, and will be asked: “Will you see that the marches are secure, the land, livestock and crops well cared for, and that no-one has made unjust claim or use of our land, water courses, mills, fishing and trading”.
“Mhàiri McConnel will be handed the burgh flag with the instruction: “Bring it back safely, and in good condition, and may God protect you and your party from any foe. You go with our permission and our blessing.”
“The plan is for a stirrup cup to be taken at Bladnoch Inn and at the end at the Wigtown Ploughman, when presentation of best horse and rider will take place.”
The best horse and rider (junior and senior) will be judged by Hugh Paterson and Julie Skimming and there will be entertainment in the gardens during the riding.
South Main Street will be closed from 7pm to 11pm to traffic.