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When Evelyn Beeney joins the Fernie hunt next season she may become the first woman to be a professional whipper-in to a Shires pack.

“Evelyn appeared the best qualified and most suitable person for the job,” said Joe Cowen, joint-master of the Fernie.

Evelyn, 24, grew up hunting with the Wilton and has spent the past two seasons as whipper-in at the Hurworth.

She collected her NVQ Level Two in Animal Care at the Peterborough Festival of Hunting this year.

“I’m delighted for Evelyn, but sorry to be losing her,” said Hurworth huntsman Joe Townsend.

“I can’t wait to move — it’s hugely exciting,” said Evelyn. “The Hurworth took a bit of a gamble in employing me because they have a big flesh round, but it was a chance to prove myself.

“A lot of people still believe a girl shouldn’t wear scarlet, but times are changing. We bring something to kennels that boys don’t, but you must be prepared to get your hands dirty and get stuck in.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (25 February, ’10)