Crusaders’ Chase

Monday 22nd July 2019

Roman Bridge
17.45 sharp

In November 1936 a small group of people met to discuss the possibility of forming a riding club. Early in 1937 the club was formed and named The Crusaders’ Riding Club.

The land surrounding Fa’side Castle was granted by Charter to the Seaton family as far back as 1246. In 1949 a Club Charter  was presented by Mr Clapperton to the Crusaders’ Riding Club and this is now read out during the flag raising ceremony where the Honest Lad raises the Flag to signify to the surrounding district that Musselburgh is now in Festival.

This year our Club Captain is Scott Nisbet. The riders will form at Inveresk Industrial Estate at 5.30p.m. to ford the Esk at 5.45 p.m.

Please note:
Horse box parking will be available in Inveresk Industrial Estate from 4pm onwards. Please clear up behind horse boxes as much as possible.


This ride is not suitable for beginners or those requiring to be lead. This is a fast-paced ride and we expect all horses and riders to be of adequate fitness and ability to be able to trot, canter and gallop for prolonged periods over different terrain.

Any rider who is unable to keep up with the pace of the ride may be asked to leave the ride with immediate effect. Any rider under the influence of alcohol and/or incapable of controlling their horse will also be asked to leave the ride with immediate effect.

The Crusaders’ Captain and their appointed marshals are in place to ensure the safe running of the ride and, as such, their instructions should be followed at all times. The route taken by the Captain is the route of the ride and the entire cavalcade must follow this route.

All riders under the age of 12 MUST be accompanied by a responsible mounted adult or they will not be permitted to take part.

The Crusaders’ will provide a minimum of two marshals, either mounted or on foot, to assist with any fallen riders/injured horses and we ask that the remainder of the ride continues in order to keep to ride timings.

All riders must wear a wristband with an emergency contact name and number. These will be available at the horse box parking area at Eskmills Industrial Estate.

Route Summary

17.45 SHARPRide will Ford the Esk at the Roman Bridge
20.15Beach Gallop

Please remain on Grass verges/
Paths and listen to Marshals.

They are there for your safety
and to ensure the riders safety.
21.15Ford the Esk approx 21.15

Full route details will be in our
programme, on sale soon.

(Please Note timings are approximate and the route can be subject to change at short notice)


Since 1937 the Honest Lad and Lass have received flowers on their way back from Fa’side at Wallyford. This tradition was started by Mr Edward Cunningham and carried on by his daughter, Shiela and after her death by her husband, the late Mr Tom Baillie of Wallyford, who died in May 2006 aged 90. His children and grandchildren have all taken their “turns” at carrying on the family tradition – the youngest was only nine weeks old when they presented these flowers.

This year’s flowers will be presented by Emma Stewart.

The HTA would like to thank Mr Cunninghams’ family and descendants for their support over the years and for their generations of commitment to the Musselburgh Festival.


Crusaders Duck Race

Duck Race

Each year the Crusaders’ Riding Club run the annual Duck Race. This involves 100s of multicolored plastic ducks making their way from the Roman Bridge to the Store Bridge (at Short Hope Street).

Each Duck has a number written on its underside which will correspond to a ticket.

The 1st Duck to reach the Store Bridge wins!

Tickets cost £1 and are available from Club members or via

The event takes place following the fording of the Esk at approx 18.15pm.

Tickets will be on sale at the Esk Prior to the Horses fording the river and for a short time afterwards.

1st prize £200, 2nd £100, 3rd £75, 4th £50, 5th £25.


Crusaders Chase Night Dance

After the ride the Crusaders’ will hold an informal Supper Dance in Eskmills Bowling Club to which everyone is welcome. Tickets for this dance are £8.00 and can be obtained from committee members.

The Nita Halliday Memorial Trophy for the oldest rider Crusader together with the Youngest Riding Crusader having both completed the ride will be presented at the Chase Night Dance. For previous winners please visit the Crusaders website.

Since its inception in 1937 The Crusaders’ Riding Club has gone from strength to strength. The present committee endeavour to maintain the traditions of the Club whilst also organising a calendar of equestrian and social events for its members.

To become a member of the Club, you must successfully complete a two stage riding test, details of which can be obtained from members of the Committee.