Record numbers attend traditional Boxing Day Hunt

RECORD numbers of people gathered to see the traditional Boxing Day Hunt.

Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 6:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 6:18 pm
The 2017 Meonstoke Boxing Day Hunt. Picture Ian Hargreaves

Hundreds of families went to the Bucks Head pub, in Meonstoke, to watch the horses and their riders set off.

The event was organised by the Hursley Hambledon Hunt and event secretary Helen Coker said they had more riders than previous years.

‘This is a record year in terms of riders and the amount of people coming to watch,’ she said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 2017 Meonstoke Boxing Day Hunt. Picture Ian Hargreaves

‘It is fantastic to see so many people here, wanting to take part in this tradition and we are delighted with the turnout.

‘There is always lots of support and the Boxing Day Hunt has grown every year.

‘Families love coming to see the horses and the riders and we have people from across Hampshire who attend. It is a great event for the rural community.’

People gathered at the Bucks Head to see the horses and the riders in their traditional outfits. Lots of people took their dogs too and lined Meonstoke to see the hunt start.

The 2017 Meonstoke Boxing Day Hunt. Picture Ian Hargreaves

Louise and Graham Birch, from Denmead, were at the Boxing Day Hunt with their two children Max, aged 10, and Amy, aged seven. They attend every year.

Graham, 40, said: ‘Coming to Meonstoke has become a tradition for us. We always come to see the horses and cheer on the riders.

‘The children love seeing it and watching all the horses galloping through the village.’

Amy added: ‘The horses are so lovely. I love coming to see them.’

The 2017 Meonstoke Boxing Day Hunt. Picture Ian Hargreaves

John and Jacqueline Smith also enjoy the tradition of coming to watch the hunt set off every Boxing Day.

The couple, from Wickham, take their Labrador Roxi and make a day of it, having a drink in the Bucks Head before and after the event and then taking Roxi on a walk through the countryside.

John, 69, said: ‘It is fantastic to see so many people coming along and younger children too who can carry on with this tradition.

‘We used to own horses and the ones at the hunt are always spectacular.

The 2017 Meonstoke Boxing Day Hunt. Picture Ian Hargreaves

‘It is a lovely way to spend Boxing Day.’

Hunts are held across the country on Boxing Day and hundreds of thousands of people attend to show their support.