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Riding of the Marches returns to Edinburgh after 63-year absence

posted 3 Sep 2009, 04:52 by myEdinburgh Admin
After a 63-year absence, the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches is returning to the Capital this weekend.

The event, which takes place on Sunday 6th September, will see 250 horses and riders make their way from Tower Farm stables in the Braid Hills into the city and up to the Mercat Cross.

Representatives from the other 28 Scottish riding towns will be bringing their Burgh Standards/flags for the colourful finale up the Royal Mile, led by Lothian and Borders Police pipe band.

Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh George Grubb said: "The Riding of the Marches is a fantastic addition to the huge range of events taking place in Edinburgh during 2009, the Year of Homecoming. It's bound to be an eye-catching spectacle for our many thousands of visitors here to enjoy the closing weekend of the Edinburgh International Festival. I'm sure the streets will be lined with crowds of people keen to witness the memorable sight of 250 horses riding through the city."

Riding of The Marches Captain Elect Ian Douglas said: "It will be a great honour to carry the City of Edinburgh banner and lead the city's modern day Riding of the Marches. It is fantastic that local riders will be joined by representatives from all of the riding towns in Scotland, many of whom will be bringing their Burgh Standards/banners in what promises to be a very colourful occasion, for the finale in the Royal Mile.

"This event would not be possible without the fantastic support from the City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Borders Police and the support provided by RH Miller Town and Country."

In February, a ceremonial City of Edinburgh Banner was presented to ride Captain Elect Ian Douglas by the Lord Provost at the Mercat Cross in a ceremony to mark the re-launch of the Riding in Edinburgh.

The Riding of the Marches was originally held between 1579 and 1718, where the purpose was to inspect the Common Land and boundary markers of the city to stop unlawful encroachment and protect the integrity of the city boundary. These inspections were carried out on horseback by the town Burgesses and the Trained Band.

In 1946 there was a one-off Riding of the Marches in Edinburgh to celebrate the end of the war, but it has not been repeated since.

For more information about the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches, go to