Sticking to tradition at Boxing Day hunt

Hawstead Boxing Day Hunt''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Hawstead Boxing Day Hunt''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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Around 300 people gathered at Hawstead Lodge Farm on Tuesday to witness the spectacle of Suffolk Hunt’s annual Boxing Day meet.

Although the hunt no longer chases foxes, it continues the tradition by leaving a scent trail for the hounds to follow, creating an historic spectacle for all those involved.

Hawstead Boxing Day Hunt''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

Hawstead Boxing Day Hunt''''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

In keeping with tradition, huntsman Sean Hutchison fielded a pack of 15-and-a-half couples of hounds (31) to take part in the four-hour hunt, with around 30 riders and 300 foot followers.

Gary Tate, hunt secretary, said: “We had a really good turn out this year which was great and the weather was glorious and the sun was shining.”

Senior master Lesley Henniker-Major said: “We hunt within the law and are always very careful so the day was without controversy.

“We had a lovely meet with lots and lots of people who came to see the traditional and spectacular event. It was a lovely morning and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Suffolk Hunt was founded in 1745, making it one of the oldest in the country. It is based in Great Whelnetham and its country now covers 24 miles from Shadwell to Long Melford.