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What do you get when you cross a double-decker London bus with 15 couple of hounds?

Total confusion, according to Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray joint-master Robin Muir.

The hounds, two horses, Chid and Lec huntsman Adrian “Sage” Thompson and first whipper-in Tim Staines found themselves in the middle of London on Tuesday, 26 October, taking part in a photoshoot for Italian clothing line Fay.

“One set-up involved hounds lining the upstairs of the Routemaster bus, which sounded like a good idea at the time, but it was abandoned halfway through when the tripod teetered — and the point of it all, along with one of the models, was lost beneath 30 wagging sterns,” said Mr Muir.

Talking from his “much more comfortable” West Sussex environment two days later, Sage told H&H the horses and hounds had been impeccably behaved for their London debut.

I took my poshest bitch pack to the shoot as I didn’t want the doghounds cocking their legs anywhere they shouldn’t,” he laughed.

“And when I asked the hounds to go up the stairs of the bus — when they’d never been in that environment before — they just followed me straight up. They’re so trusting.”

The shoot took place in Whitehall, with the backdrop of the Foreign Office and later the statue of Clive of India.

The hounds were joined by Vogue photographer Tim Walker and two models.

“The plan was to show that Fay’s clothes could be worn in the country,” said Sage, adding: “I’ve never seen anything like them in our country — but that’s fashion, I suppose!”

Last year, members of the West Percy, Tynedale and College Valley/North Northumberland hunts were used as extras in a fashion shoot for Vogue — also taken by Tim Walker.

This article was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound, 11 November ’10