Matthew Puffer, who has hunted the Pytchley for the past six seasons, is retiring at the end of the season.

Matthew, 53, has spent 36 years in hunt service, starting as a boy with the Atherstone.

He had subsequent spells at the Blankney, Cotswold Vale Farmers’, Crawley and Horsham — where he met his wife Angela — the Heythrop, Portman and Cheshire Forest, before he moved to the Pytchley after Peter Jones’s retirement in 2005.

A testimonial committee is being put together. Joint-master Will Spencer said: “During the past six seasons, Matthew has produced a superb pack of hounds and this will be his legacy to us.

“My fellow masters and I are most grateful to Matthew for the help and support he has provided us during our first few seasons.”

This article was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound, 2 December 2010