Christmas hunting – a family affair

Hunting around Christmas time has always been a family affair.  At each meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, there are always a couple of subscribers who are assigned to follow the mounted field and close gates, put up wire, and generally ‘tidy up’ behind the thrusters.  Gate shutters generally dress in wax jackets and rubber boots – for all the getting-off they do – and a hipflask is a wise addition!

The gate-shutters

Our turn always falls on Christmas Eve.  This year, we were accompanied by Sarah and Judith – Ben’s mother and aunt – and we had a lovely, muddy day.  Judith hadn’t ridden since the summer, but kicked on and, more importantly, was sound on Christmas morning.  Sarah rides regularly, but hadn’t hunted for some twenty years, so it really was a special occasion.

We had a good, busy day, and managed to keep up with the hounds until the end (quite a feat considering we had to close all the gates as well!) Not to be forgotten is Guilia,  Judith’s 10 year old daughter, a welcome addition to the Christmas hunting scene as an enthusiastic groom!

Our Italian girl groom

I hope you all enjoyed some Christmas hunting as much as we did, and you had a very Merry Christmas!

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Please note, throughout our website we use the term fox hunting to mean all of the activities carried out by our participating hunts operating within the constraints of the Hunting Act 2004.