Tally ho! Hunt enthusiasts get up head of steam

Eastney Beach and Southsea esplanade

Pair of Portsmouth beaches hailed ‘excellent’ by inspectors

THOUSANDS of people turned out to watch the traditional Hursley Hambledon Hunt.

The Boxing Day hunt has been a regular feature in the hunt calendar for more than 200 years and its popularity amongst the spectators shows no signs of stopping.

Fifty people on horseback gathered at the Buck's Head pub in Meonstoke for the start of the hunt at 11.15am.

Hunt secretary Rosamund Masterman said: 'It went very well. We were really very pleased with the support and, although we seem to say it every year, I really do think there were more people on their feet than ever. It was a beautiful day and that helped, no doubt.'

She said there were no anti-hunt protesters, just people who were keen to see a countryside tradition.

'We had 3,000 to 4,000 people watching and it looked fantastic in the sunshine,' Mrs Masterman said.

'People come from all over the place to see it. In the old days people would be bused in from Portsmouth and Southsea and, even though they don't do that anymore, people come from all over the south to see it.'