The season drew to a close at the Toby Stone on a glorious day and with an equally glorious meet thrown by Mrs Annie Eccles, her daughter Sophie Granlund, Sophie’s husband, Charles and Annie’s brother-in-law George Grammer and other family members. Full hunt buttons were awarded to Charlotte Allday, Tinka Allingham, Katharine Burgdorf, Zoe Edge, Louise Evans, Lise Hutton, Sarah Salter, Simon Stillwell, Richard Stubbs, Angela Tebbitt, and Rob Wilkins with the junior button to Martha Rogerson and foot followers button to Christopher Riddy.
To book your ticket, please see Storme or Jo at meets with your money and a note with who it is for and they will add you to the guest list. If you are not at meets and wish to come then, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
9.00 am start
Class 1 Mini Team Relay. 75cm Riders pass a hunt crop baton style within the start / finish box at the end of completing the course to allow the next rider to start. There will be a joker fence.
Class 2 Novice Team Relay. 90cm Riders pass a hunt crop baton style within the start / finish box at the end of completing the course to allow the next rider to start. There will be a joker fence.
Class 3 Open Team Relay 95cm Riders pass a hunt crop baton style within the start / finish box at the end of completing the course to allow the next rider to star. There will be a joker fence.
Teams will be drawn out of hat when times are allocated. and will run simultaneously in the outside arenas. ou will need to keep an eye on the scoreboard to see if, and when, you are required to jump again depending
on entries. Warm up times will be given and must be adhered to.
Class 4 Junior Gate Jumping- gate starts at 60cm. This class is for 16 year olds and under only
Class 5 Open Gate Jumping – gate height starts at 80cm.
Class Mini Mini Relay 50cm-60cm
Riders pass a hunt crop baton style within the start /Riders pass a hunt crop baton style within the start / finish box at the end of completing the course to allow the
next rider to start. Restricted section for teams of riders under 16 years old. Open section for teams of riders over 16 years old, please state on the entry form as the class may be split. There will be a joker fence.
The gate jumping classes will run at the same time in the outdoor arenas.
see schedule here
Foot Followers Joint Pub of the Month with Members and Followers of the Surrey Union Hunt The Bat and Ball Country Pub & Haywards Restaurant Newpound Lane, Newpound 28th February 2017
Winter Chicken: Breast of Chicken stuffed with Bramley Apples and Cheddar Cheese, wrapped in Bacon with a Port-enhanced Jus, roasted New Potatoes and Chef’s Vegetables
Pan-roasted Fillet of Trout served with a Lemon and Parsley Sauce, roasted New Potatoes and Chef’s Vegetables
Beef Bourguignon served with a Creamy Mashed Potato and Baton Carrots
The classic Crème Brûlée
Home-made Chocolate Sponge served with Vanilla Ice-cream
Apple Crumble and Homemade Custard
£17 per head
Please give your menu selection to Sheila Lillywhite on 01798 342990 or email@example.com
Hunt Supporters' Club:
Bangers 'n’ Mash
and, as importantly, with added:
Horn Blowing & Holloa-ing
January 20, 2017
Lodsworth Village Hall
7.00 start (prompt)
Adults £10.00 - Children £5.00
As the year ends and the first half of the season, Horse & Hound features us in this week’s issue (out today) with a four page article — and very complimentary it is. The writer Catherine Austen joined us at Mockbeggars. The title to the piece comes courtesy of co-meet host, Harriet Charles — and very apposite it is too.
A vast crowd of more than 2,000 people came to see some 85 horses and riders, dressed in their hunting finery.Some wore traditional top hats and scarlet, others modern safety helmets and body protectors, but all were turned out immaculately, for what is one of the most important days in the hunt’s season. They gathered, as they have since before the war, at the hunt’s historic Georgian kennels in Petworth Park, Sussex. Spectators were still streaming in across the park when Field-Master Julian Edge stood up in his stirrups to address supporters.
“It’s fantastic to see you all here,’he said, to the cheers of the crowd. “Apparently a quarter-of-a-million people will be following hunts today - that’s in spite of 12 years of this unfair, unworkable law. Thank you for coming and showing your support.”
Among the sea of muted olive Barbour jackets and tweed, Mr Edge’s three daughters stood out, their ponies bedecked with tinsel.
His youngest, Daisy, at just two-and-a-half years, was the smallest rider in the field. Her miniature Shetland pony, Obie, was dressed up with a pair of reindeer antlers.
"It’s her first Boxing Day meet," said her mother, Zoe. "We spent Christmas Day getting ready; plaiting their manes, cleaning tack - we couldn’t not come. It wouldn’t be Christmas otherwise."
As riders knocked back stirrup cups of port to settle their nerves, excited children surged forward to pat a gleaming pale grey horse, belonging to hunt secretary, Nadine Crouch.
"It’s the weirdest sport ever - you get them beautifully clean to get them covered in mud again," she laughed. "It’s about keeping the tradition."
Exemplifying that tradition and continuity were three generations of the Baker family. Chairman of the "Chid and Lec" (as it's known), Charlie Baker, had brought his two sons and all five grandchildren, the youngest, Wilfred, just two years old, snug in his snowsuit and carried by his father.
Boxing Day is important because "it’s a celebration of hunting," he explained. The crowd is "not just locals, but people from towns and overseas. Our fields [the number of people who follow the hunt] have actually grown since the ban."
Pro-hunting group the Countryside Alliance said Boxing Day saw a "great turnout", with "at least 250,000" gathering at some of the many hunts taking place across the country that were attended by "as many if not more" than ever before.
This is despite anti-blood sports charity the League Against Cruel Sports suggesting opposition to repealing the ban has risen steadily since its introduction.
Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and former farmer Tim Bonner said there were "huge crowds from Cornwall to Cumbria".
"Frankly, even though it is 11 years on after the ban came into force, it is business as usual and (they are) quite determined they are not going to lie down, they are not going to go away," he said. "We are seeing a huge amount of support from the rural community."
Katherine Wearne is one of those new recruits to hunting. She went hunting for the first time earlier this season and this year came on foot, with her husband and parents, to what was her first Boxing Day meet.
"My parents only live 15 miles away, but we’ve never been before," she said. "I’d thought hunting was a bit of an exclusive club, but it is so welcoming and friendly. People do it for the joie de vivre.
"It’s lovely to see something this beautiful and traditional," said Mrs Wearne. "It’s like a injection of England."
But while goodwill and high spirits may now be in abundance, the hunt and its supporters are acutely aware that the ban is unlikely to be overturned any time soon. Repeal is needed, they say, because the hunting ban was driven by class politics and prejudice, not animal welfare - and it’s being used by animal rights activists to harass hunt staff.
However, the free vote that was a Conservative manifesto commitment was scuppered by the SNP last year, who said they would vote against repeal.
In the post-Brexit era, repeal is not so much on the political back-burner, as congealing on the back of the Aga.
As the hunt prepared to move off, the Masters of the Chid and Lec lined up in front of spectators, on their magnificent hunt horses. Two of their number, Robin Muir and Paul Lyon-Maris, only took up hunting after it was banned, yet are convinced of the case for repeal.
"I didn’t have a childhood history of hunting; I was born in Edinburgh and worked in London," said Mr Muir. "But it suddenly became very political and I wanted to know what it was like. I completely get why it has to be repealed - it’s how the countryside melds together and it’s very much a part of the community’s psyche. When you disrupt that, it is disturbing and sad."
As the Field-Master finished his speech, horses stamped their feet, eager to be off. A child twisted a strand of tinsel back into his pony’s mane, where it had started to work loose. Then the Huntsman, Adrian "Sage" Thompson, blew his horn to collect the hounds and set off around the park, followed by the masters and the rest of the riders. They doubled back for the cavalcade to parade through the crowd, the riders waving, spectators cheering. In a sense, this is the hunt showing off to our supporters," said chairman, Charlie Baker.
Today is about pageant and spectacle and hounds will follow an artificial trail. But the campaign to overturn the hunting ban remains very real indeed.
Watch | The Hunting Act - i
Christmas Eve saw exactly 100 mounted at Pallingham Manor and a record number of tumblers on one day. Thanks this time to Master Vicki for her organisation at a busy time of year and to husband Rob, without whom we would cease to function. Thanks also to Ruth and Dave for their trailblazing trail laying, also without whom…
Boxing Day saw a marked increase in the mounted field from last year at around 75, the more remarkable for so many being out on Christmas Eve. As for those who came to wish us well… 2000? 3000? In recent memory, no-one has seen more supporters. An extraordinary sight. And talking of which…
We feature, we think, in Thursday’s Horse & Hound in a piece by Catherine Austen.
” In the summer I was thinking of ways to raise money for charity when the idea of doing 10 days hunting without a saddle came into my mind, after I had been jumping one of my horses over some fences bareback. My two chosen charities are The James Wentworth Stanley Memorial Fund who raise awareness for suicide and depression, and my other charity is Kent Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance.
I thought I would do two tester days on each horse to find out how comfortable they would be to ride bareback for more than half an hour, so I took them out autumn hunting and came to the realisation that my calmer hunter was the least comfortable whereas my more excitable horse was unbelievably comfortable (even in trot!).
The 10 days of hunting without a saddle officially started at the Opening meet, for the first time ever before hunting I felt a little bit nervous. I promised my mother that I would avoid the hedges and take it easy, but as soon as the adrenaline had kicked in I knew I trusted my horse and just followed the field over hedges, timber and more. At second horses around 2 ‘o’ clock that is when the pain kicked in rushing through my back and my legs, but I thought on my first official day I must stay out and about 7 hours after we set off from the meet we made our way home.
If any of you were to decide to do a 7-hour hunting day bareback I advise a long hot bath afterwards. I continued going every Saturday and Wednesday with the Crawley and Horsham and one day with Surrey Union every day staying out until the end as I felt as it was a must to those who donated and I am also not one to go home early anyway, and by half day the pain hit I thought it can’t get more painful so I might as well ride it out until the bitter end.
I am currently on my 8th day out of the 10 and although a little excited to have a saddle back, I have really enjoyed it and every day it got easier and less nerve racking I might even throw in an extra day later on in the season. Having so much support and the unbelievably generous donations has spurred me on throughout the fundraiser so far.
If anyone would like to donate to Jemima’s challenge, here is the link
This double-page spread of this season’s Opening Meet at Petworth House appears in Hounds magazine (which is by subscription only). The photographs are by Clive Bennett. Rather more top hats than we remembered, one dog in our hunt colours, a mother/son double-act and an unexpectedly sedate Mrs Naomi Rogerson …
The Chairmen and Masters know that all who attended this extraordinary evening, would wish to thank Storme Rees, Charlotte Allday, Lise Hutton and Louise Evans, as well as Jo Burdett and Mark Rees and their legions of helpers for all their efforts over the past months and on the night, which were clearly considerable. And it showed magnificently.
Special thanks to Barry and Patrick who dealt with the parking with equanimity and good humour.
As far as fundraising is concerned, it is already clear that with such superb auction lots, both silent and open, they have exceeded all expectations. Well done. And thank you to all that joined us on Saturday, bringing with them such enthusiastic bidders!
Both Opening Meets at Petworth and Cowdray Houses were extraordinarily well-attended with total number of the mounted field put at 170. There must be some sort of mathematical ratio theorem we can measure this by, but unsurprisingly, the number of tumblers has increased exponentially …”Truly today was comedy gold with the tumbling. To be honest, I couldn't keep up. People were falling off all over the place,” says subscriber Naomi Rogerson in awe
Those who have subscribed will have signed one already and returned it to Secretary Deborah, who keeps a record. If you haven’t, please do so.
You will need to sign one whether you come out once or on several occasions, though obviously you need to do so only once per season.
If you are bringing friends, it would help hugely if you warned them in advance that they must do this.
The Secretaries will be happy to take them from you on the day but they must be completed in advance.
You can find the disclaimer here
Firstly, it is the absolute responsibility of anyone who rides a horse that is liable to kick that they keep them well away from others and in particular children.
As regards red ribbons – wearing a red ribbon as a warning to other riders is no excuse whatsoever for allowing your horse to join the throng.
If you think that your horse is not to be trusted and you feel you need to wear a red ribbon then please note that this also necessitates keeping that horse well away from the field – at the back.
The principle of wearing a red ribbon does not absolve individual responsibility.
Although our hunting days are traditionally Wednesdays and Saturdays, please note that in order to make full use of available country during the shooting season, we may occasionally meet on an alternative weekday (at the Wednesday cap).
Parents please remind yourselves about the rules regarding your little ones when they come out with us.
Please note that Hon Sec Deborah Boulton is again in charge of subscriptions this season and is happy to answer any questions you might have, as indeed are any of the three secretaries.