Edinburgh Riding of Marches present new Captain and Lass 2017


The Annual Edinburgh Riding of the Marches, an historical event attracting in excess of 20,000 spectators and this year taking place on Sunday 17th September, has elected their 2017 Edinburgh Captain and Edinburgh Lass and presented them on horseback on Saturday 8th April, with the City of Edinburgh as their backdrop.

The main September event, consisting of over 250 horses including riders as young as 7-years-old and as old as 75years-old, is the historical re-enactment of the inspection of the city’s boundaries, a tradition recorded as far back as 1579.

Above: Edinburgh Captain Dean Smith with Edinburgh Lass Kiera Robertson. Image Gemma Williamson.

Every year a new Edinburgh Captain and Lass is elected to represent their city, carrying the City Banner, to lead the cavalcade on 17th September. This year the honour has been bestowed upon ex-Military Dean Smith as the 2017 Edinburgh Captain and Kiera Robertson as the 2017 Edinburgh Lass.

Dean Smith, whose military career included serving with the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion and The Second Battalion The Parachute Regiment, secured his election with his military and equestrian background, having also served with the Cavalry.  Dean Smith said: “I understand the value of tradition and the rewards gained through hard work, creating history and a legacy for the people of Edinburgh”.

“I understand the value of tradition and the rewards gained through hard work, creating history and a legacy for the people of Edinburgh”.

The 2017 Edinburgh Lass, Kiera Robertson, is daughter of the 2014 Edinburgh Lass, Kay Robertson.  Kiera has ridden since a young age, taking part in her first Common Riding at the age of 4.   Kiera said: “I am truly honoured to be elected and I look forward to representing my city and doing it proud, in my position as Edinburgh Lass.  The history behind this event is part of Edinburgh’s core and it is important that the tradition is continued”.

Above: The Edinburgh Riding of the Marches creates quite a sight on the Royal Mile. Image Jim Hunter.

In addition, a First Officer, named as Alfie Cummings, has also been elected. Iain Whyte, Chairman of the Scottish Charity, The Edinburgh March Riding Association who organises the event said: “The position of First Officer has only been filled in exceptional circumstances. The selection committee felt that a second, outstanding applicant was worthy of being elected as First Officer, and a unanimous decision was made”. Ex-military Alfie Cummings, a veteran of Royal Navy Commando, said about his supporting role: “One of the many lessons I took away from my military life is the importance of our history and I firmly believe this should be taught and preserved”.  It was his Uncle that inspired him, who was elected Lockerbie Cornet when Alfie was a youngster and this sparked his interest.  To add to the challenge, Alfie has started taking weekly riding lessons, having only previously been on a horse once!

Above: Edinburgh Captain Dean Smith. Image Gemma Williamson.
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