Lynne and Cobbie’s big tour: he couldn’t believe his luck

  • Hello from Cobbie and I.

    Most recently we headed off north, this time, destination the Brocklesby Hunt in North Lincolnshire. Of the 20 foxhound packs registered with the MFHA beginning with B, The Brocklesby was always top of my list of ‘to do’s’. This was due to a combination of having spent many happy puppy shows there (my in-laws Dick and Shirley Deakin had lived in a cottage on the Brocklesby estate), and of course present huntsman Gareth Bow had been a popular whipper-in at the Warwickshire.

    Gareth and Thady

    This time we weren’t travelling alone. Mollie (my Huntaway/Labrador cross dog — we have come up with a name — Huntador!) as always was with us. But, additionally Kim (my other half) was tagging along with his mountain bike. During the summer he came on a ride for a visit to the kennels I had organised for the Warwickshire Hunt Riding Club. This was a fabulous visit including a lovely ride around the park, lunch and a tour of the kennels. He wanted a return visit and just like following us on the park ride on his bike, the idea was he could follow out hunting just the same!

    Sunrise over the Lincolnshire Wolds

    After an uneventful journey of 140 miles on a Sunday afternoon, we arrived at the Brocklesby Kennels. Gareth had already prewarned us that he would not be there, but Thady Duff (whipper-in) would be there to unlock the padlock to the gate to the kennels field, which was our resting place for the night. Cobbie couldn’t believe his luck — stopping with hounds at the kennels!

    Cobbie in the kennels field

    Kim, Mollie and I also camped in Cadbury in the kennels field. Again Cobbie was too busy to eat his tea so I left it by Cadbury so he could come back to it overnight. The same couldn’t be said for Kim and I. The barbecue was lit and supper was cooked in the fading light. What a setting to have supper in.

    Supper time for Cobbie and barbecue for Kim and I

    Cobbie proved to be a naughty cob in the morning. In the eight years I’ve owned him, he has never been the easiest to catch. The record being three hours. On our Brocklesby day it took half an hour. It was a good job I had set the alarm early but it still made us late, which then meant everyone was late. Not a good start. It meant the drive to the meet feel a bit like the Wacky Races as we headed of after the hunt lorries!

    The meet was out on the Lincolnshire Wolds on a commercial shoot. The fields on the Wolds are enormous on rolling hills with lots of woods and game strips. Our field master for the day was George Sanderson, a master since 2006. His speech at the meet set the precedence for the day. The morning was run like a military manoeuvre. The field moved ahead of hounds to each cover in turn.

    Gareth had the Brockelsby dog hounds out, which, despite the warm, dry conditions and being on a well keepered shoot, showed the followers what an Old English pack of hounds can do when they find a trail.

    It was also nice to have familiar faces out. Jan Funnell, who had been to the Warwickshire Hunt Riding Club visit to the Brocklesby kennels in the summer, had turned up with local friend Debbie Nickson (both of whom I I pictured with at the top of this blog).

    Daniel Crane and wife Ali, who I’d seen at Daniel’s stand earlier in the year at Lycetts Festival of Hunting were also enjoying an early morning with their local pack.

    Daniel and Ali Crane (Daniel Crane Sporting Art)

    After quite a long morning, we hacked back across the rolling Lincolnshire Wold stubbles to a well-earned cup of tea back at the boxes. Kim, after following all morning on his mountain bike, certainly needed one!

    Kim with Roger Finley

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    To finish the morning off perfectly, Cobbie, Kim and myself went back to the kennels and had the treat of watching hounds being fed. The dog hounds that had been out that morning had plenty of flesh, while the bitches had a mixture of flesh and Red Mills hound feed biscuits — a sign of the times with less stock in the area. Gareth then took us to ‘walk out’ with the bitches through ‘The Wilderness’ and out onto the point-to-point course — what an absolute pleasure. The only one sulking was Cobbie, who was having another session in the kennel field and wasn’t allowed to come with us!

    Girls having a drink back in kennels

    Cobbie and I are staying more local for our next outing, before heading off to the south west. For ‘C’ we are going to have a day with local pack, the Croome and West Warwickshire, before heading off to the most southern most foxhound pack in the UK, the Cury.

    Bye for now,

    Lynne and Cobbie

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