Foot-and-mouth restrictions results in the Devon & Somerset Staghounds’ opening meet taking an unusual turn

The Devon & Somerset Staghound’s held an unusual opening meet on Saturday 11 August at the hunt kennels in Exford. Although the hunt staff were mounted and the hounds were present, all the followers were on foot.

Preventing from leaving the kennels by FMD restrictions, around 1,000 people gathered to enjoy refreshments, followed by a “human” point-to-point.

Joint-master Diana Scott thanked everyone for their support and delivered a speech warning the government to leave the countryside alone.

“It was quite an emotional day, especially as we were all dressedup, but didn’t get to hunt,” she explained.

The rest of the day was spent in the kennel’s six-acre field, where hunt followers enjoyed a picnic followed by a “human” point-to-point.

The “runners” paraded in a paddock before making their wayonto the course, which was set up round the edge of the field. The four races – ladies, men’s, open and over 50’s – were well supported over a testing track.