Hundreds of people lined the streets to enjoy the Kirkcudbright Riding of the Marches on Friday evening.
Onlookers were treated to a wonderful spectacle of 107 horses and riders, all beatifully turned out, clattering through the town in the centuries-old tradition.
Starting from Dee Walk, the riders halted at the war memorial where Cornet Jack Bell and Cornet’s lass Elen Austin dismounted to lay a wreath as Ian Wemyss of Kirkcudbright Pipe Band played “Flooers o’ the Forest.”
Then it was on to Harbour Square where Pursuivant Jim McDowall and Deacons Ian Mcintyre and Ian Swan of the Haill Six Incorporated Trades of Kirkcudbright re-enacted the granting of the royal charter to the town by King James II in 1455.
Deacon Swan thanked Jack, from Gelston, for performing his duties “most notably” before Jack invited the crowd to give three cheers for the Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright.
Every year since the charter was granted, the pursuivant – the King’s representative – the Cornet and horsemen ride together round the boundaries of the burgh lands referred to in the charter.
The act is recreated annually by the Kirkcudbright Cornets’ Club with the Riding of the Marches to the square.
Club chairman Aly Austin was delighted with the support shown by the community in celebrating the event which created Kirkcudbright as a royal burgh of Scotland.
She said: “It went really well. The rain stopped just before we set off. There was a great turnout of horses, we had 107 in total, and of folk turning out to watch.
“I’d like to thank all the townsfolk of Kirkcudbright, the visiting principals, their followers, Kirkcudbright Cornets’ Club and the Deacons of the Incorporated Trades for all their support.
“I also thank Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities for staging the event.”
After the ceremony, judging took place for the best turned out horses and riders. Dumfries Cornet’s lass Ellen Bell and Bruce were named senior winners, Nadia Powell and Poppy won the junior award and Malachy Mann lead rein. Sean Duffy was judged as the best turned out horse and cart.
A successful Cornet’s Ball in the Arden House Hotel rounded off the evening’s festivities.
The event followed the first Scottish Night in Harbour Square the previous evening, at which Alix Davis was crowned Summer Festivities Princess.
Her attendants are fellow primary school pupils Abbie McCormick and Alexi Baty.
The royal party arrived in the traditional vintage car to be welcomed by Kirkcudbright Pipe Band entertaining a crowd of around 300. Kay Alexander Highland Dancers also performed on the evening.
Alix, Abbie and Alexi will attend various festivities events throughout the summer and will attend a number of tasks before their big finale – the Kirkcudbright Tattoo and firework display.
Scottish Night Some of the Kay Alexander dancers entertain the crowd, inset above
Great night Riders of all ages took part in the event on Friday
Show of affection Zoe Gaffney gives her trusty steed a kiss