Foxhounds

  • Cleveland: although Cleveland is a county in its own right, the MFHA includes the Cleveland Foxhounds in Yorkshire. Cleveland’s hunt club, established on 13 November 1722, is the oldest in the country.
  • Hurworth
  • Bilsdale: said to be the oldest Foxhound pack in Britain, formed in 1668
  • Farndale
  • Glaisdale
  • Goathland
  • Saltersgate Farmers
  • Sinnington
  • Middleton
  • Derwent
  • Staintondale
  • Holderness

Other packs

  • Ampleforth Beagles
  • Catterick Beagles
  • Hunsley Beacon Beagles

What kind of country is it?

Yorkshire has everything to offer any hunt follower: from the shorelines of the North Sea to the rolling uplands and dales, there is every type of hunt country imaginable.

The Holderness and Middleton have the two largest hunt countries.

Emma Richardson, hon secretary of the Holderness, says: “We have plough, but we also have a good area of wold [grassland]. We do get down to the beach at Aldbrough, which rises to what we call true Holderness country, where there are big — and I mean big — ditches to jump. We have some hill land above York where there are hedges and timber to jump as they come.

“Holderness is a good scenting country, and you’ll need a horse with Thoroughbred blood. We’re not an affluent hunt, but we are a happy lot and things are going well.”

The Bilsdale hunts more inland and is said to be the oldest pack of Foxhounds in Britain (1668). However, their first point-to-point was not held until 1994, hounds were not Stud Book registered until the 2004-05 season and they showed hounds for the first time at Harrogate last year, gaining a fourth place. And because they have a country where you can hunt late into the season, it is not unknown to have 200 mounted followers on the high ground in late April.

The Hunsley Beacon Beagles were established in 1960 and are kennelled with the Holderness Foxhounds, as are the East Lincs Bassets.

Hunsley Beagles joint-master and huntsman Stuart Cole says: “We have most of the Middleton and Holderness countries, and some of the York and Ainsty (South). We hunt two days per week and mainly on arable, which is a good scenting area.”

The Ampleforth Beagles hunt on the ranging northern Yorkshire Moors, and also do
particularly well on the flags.

What else is Yorkshire famous for?

Brass bands; nine racecourses and Malton and Middleham, two of Britian’s four major racehorse training centres; York is a famous Viking settlement and the Yorkshire Dales annually attract millions of visitors. Famous natives include Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, Oona King MP; Betty Boothroyd, former speaker of the Commons; Seb Coe, athlete and politician; Amy Johnson, aviator; Michael Palin, comedian and author; JB Priestley, man of letters; Charles Peace, notorious murderer, and gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes.

This hunting feature was first published in Horse & Hound