Peebles March Riding and Beltane Queen Festival

Beltane Wednesday - Cornets Installation, Rideout & Reel

The  installation of the Cornet,  his Lass and Supporters takes place at the Parish Church steps. The officials, guests and representatives of other towns  gather at 6.00 pm at the War Memorial Quadrangle to start the evening's proceedings.

At 6.10 pm all the collected people and the public led by the bands head along the High Street to the Church steps.

6.15 pm The Cornet is installed, the Cornet's Lass is installed,  as are his Supporters. The Cornet and his Lass are installed by the Beltane  Festival Chairman and the Cornet's Lass pins the Cornets ribbon to the Flag. This is known as Bussing the Colours. All duly installed, the Cornet, Supporters and followers mount horses and proceed to ˜Ride the Marches”. Each year around 250+ horse riders can be seen enjoying the spectacle that is  commonly known as the "Ride Out”.

7.15 pm The Cornet arrives at Neidpath Castle, and once all his supporters have arrived, the Warden of Neidpath is installed by the Chairman. The newly installed Warden then welcomes the Cornet and gives the annual "Warden's Address"  to the assembled officials, guests and public. The Cornet in turn replies to this Address, as does the Beltane Festival Vice-Chairman. The Cornet leaves and moves on to meet his followers at the Rae Burn.

8.30 pm This is one of the highlights of the evening. The "Fording of the Tweed" above Fotheringham Bridge in Hay Lodge Park is a wonderful sight of horse and rider, crossing the Tweed, producing a sight seen once a year for many  an observer. It has its thrills and spills, and in the odd year some riders have  decided to cool off half way across. The amended words from the festival week  say it all for each and every crossing rider, "Safe In, Safe Oot!!"

9.00 pm After the fording has taken place, the riders all head up to the north side of  the golf course for the annual horse race. There are various races for all age groups and abilities undertaken, but by far the most sought after of the evening is the Beltane Bell.

10.15pm The Cornet, Lass and supporters dance the reel in the High Street, followed by the offer of the Australian Stirrup Cup and the presentation of the Beltane Bell.