Couple chosen as this year’s Hunter & Lass

Grant McLagan and Sharon Sloan.
Grant McLagan and Sharon Sloan.

This year’s Penicuik Hunter and Lass will be the first couple to take on the prestigious roles at the annual summer festival since 1984.

Grant McLagan (57) and Sharon Sloan (46) have been chosen as the first couple to be Hunter and Lass since Donald and Denise McIntosh 33 years ago.

And the bubbly couple, who have been engaged for five years, can’t wait to take on their roles. Self-employed Sharon, who works in finance and is originally from Balerno, has been touched by how she and her fiancé have been accepted. She said: “Even to get nominated by our friend Maggie blew us away, as we are not originally from here. Penicuik has made us feel so welcome and so at home, so it’s giving something back to the people.

“It’s a fantastic community, you have no idea in the pride and honour I have to be representing Penicuik.”

Sharon is delighted that she will be joined in the role by the man she loves: “I’m still reeling in shock from it, I didn’t think we would get it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that we can do together and remember forever.”

Sales executive Grant, originally from Blairgowrie, revealed that the couple intend to get young people more involved in the festival, and that they have some friends to help them achieve this. He said: “We want to get out there and make Penicuik proud, and try to get the youngsters interested in the festival as well. We are known as the ‘pony people’, as we have Shetland ponies we take to local events. We will use this to tell kids all about Hunter and Lass.”

Recalling the selection process, Grant added: “I was nervous when we went in, but they made us feel so relaxed, asking questions about us and what we can bring, and that’s when we said about getting the young folk more involved.”

However, Grant admitted that their new roles have put back their long-awaited wedding day: “We said that if we got Hunter and Lass we won’t get married just now so it has put us back a few years!”