Chief Marshal joy awaits Julia as Riding of the Bounds returns

The horse rider who will lead this year’s Riding of the Bounds in Berwick, as it returns for the first time since 2019, says it will be “a dream come true” for her.

By Andrew Coulson
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 5:50 pm
The principal party for this year’s Riding of the Bounds in Berwick.
The principal party for this year’s Riding of the Bounds in Berwick.

The traditional event, organised by Berwick Riders Association, could not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The annual 17-mile rideout around the town’s ancient boundaries attracts dozens of horses and riders and the 2022 event takes place this Saturday.

This year’s participants are set to ride from the Barracks to the Town Hall between 10am and 10.30am where Berwick’s Mayor, Coun Alan Bowlas, will be asked for permission to check the boundaries.

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Berwick principals with school pupils.

Permission will be given and the riders will then set off.

At lunchtime there is a break at Gainslaw Hill Farm for refreshments and pony games and the riders are expected to be back in the town centre at around 4pm to inform the Mayor that the boundaries are secure for another year.

The principal party is as follows – Chief Marshal: Julia Szoneberg; Right Hand Man: Kieran Dodds; Left Hand Man: Courtnay Grey.

Julia lives in Donaldsons Lodge, Cornhill-on-Tweed, with husband Derek. Other family members supporting her include Julia’s son Dariusz, stepsons Jake and Caden, and brother Justin.

Julia Szoneberg and Molly.

The 51-year-old said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic because I’ve waited all my life to be Chief Marshal for the Riding of the Bounds as I’m originally from Berwick.

“It is a dream come true to be at the front carrying the flag on Saturday and it will be a nice tribute to my mother (Helen), who we lost to cancer in 2018. She was also very keen for me to become Chief Marshal.

“Although someone else will be riding her on the day, I currently lease Molly from the Nenthorn Equestrian Centre near Kelso and it’s great that most of the team at the centre will be riding along to support me.

“Hopefully, many people will be in the town centre to celebrate what is a massive tradition for Berwick.”

During March and April, several of the association’s principals and committee members went to visit many of the first and middle schools in Berwick to raise awareness.

They gave a short PowerPoint presentation to the pupils and then had a question and answer session. A ‘design your own rosette’ competition has also been held.

Linda Fiddes, chairman of the Berwick Riders Association, said: “On Thursday, April 28 at 6pm, at the Scout Hall in Palace Green, we will be having our children’s hobby horse evening.

“All children are welcome to come along and bring their own or homemade hobby horse. We will have best hobby horse prizes and after a lovely walk around the walls, refreshments will be served.

“We will also have a real pony on the evening. Amelia the little Shetland will be putting in an appearance and we have some young pipers to pipe us on our walk.

“We have made and delivered 10 large wooden horse silhouettes to schools and local groups for them to dress up. They will be on show in the empty window (previously Tui) near the Town Hall.”