The leaves are turning, the nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping — and we couldn’t be happier. Autumnal colds and muddy gateways mean only one thing… opening meets are just around the corner.

Autumn hunting does a job, but we’re counting down the days for the real McCoy. And if you weren’t excited enough already, we’ve dug out nine photos of followers and hunt staff on flying form with breathtaking scenery thrown into the mix, that we can (almost) guarantee will give you the pre-season buzz…

1. The Fernie

Fernie Hunt on 08 03 2015
A poster-worthy picture: the field during one of the last draws of the Fernie’s meet at Laughton near Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

2. The Dulverton West Foxhounds

Dulverton West Hunt meet at Molland, Exmoor, Devon - 8th Novembe
Menacing skies: the Dulverton West meet at Molland, Exmoor in Devon.

3. The Quorn

Record number of side saddle riders attend Quorn Hunt Opening Meet.
What a sight: side saddle followers raise the glamour-stakes at the Quorn’s opening meet in 2012 at Kirby Bellars.

Continued below…

4. The Cottesmore

Nicholas Leeming, Phoebe Buckley, Eddie Ahern
Perfect timing: Nicholas Leeming, Phoebe Buckley and Eddie Ahern out with the Cottesmore, hunting between Burrough-on-the-Hill and Owston.

5. The Belvoir

The field jump a hedge near the meet
Making light work of it: the Belvoir meet at Sheepwash, near Harby.

6. The Staff College and RMA Sandhurst Drag Hunt

The Staff College and RMA Sandhurst Drag Hunt meet at Paley Street, Hampshire 20th March 2011.
Octavia Pollock flies over this fence in style, out with The Staff College and RMA Sandhurst Drag Hunt in Hampshire.

7. The Fernie

Fernie Hunt on 08 03 2015
Pausing for the view: the Fernie’s meet at Laughton near Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

8. The Portman

The Portman Hunt 5th January 2011
‘Let’s go!’: this combination are on flying form out with the Portman.

9.  The Fernie

Fernie Hunt on 08 03 2015
Rowan Cope, Master of the Pytchley, during the Fernie’s meet at Laughton near Market Harborough,  Leicestershire.

Hunting mad? Don’t miss our special hunting issue of Horse & Hound magazine, which hits the newsstands on 22 October and is packed with cracking hunting ponies and the essential hunting directory