Horse & Hound’s hunting editor visited on a bitterly cold day following a night of snowfall. The meet had been put back to 12pm to allow for the overnight snow to thaw although there was a further blizzard in the afternoon which saw many of the field retire early.
A few hardy souls stayed out to the end of the day to see the Exmoor’s legendary huntsman Tony Wright and the Exmoor hounds working hunt to find and hunt their trails in the difficult conditions. Tony was appointed by Capt Ronnie Wallace in 1982 after starting his career at the Heythrop and latterly the Quorn.
The Exmoor country lies in North Devon and Somerset, extending approximately 20 miles east to west and 12 miles north to south in the widest part. With their kennels in Balewater, near Simonsbath, they hunt on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Senior-master Felicita Busby plays an instrumental role by looking after the hunt horses and lending her hand to almost any task, including the collection of fallen stock. The mastership is completed by Angela Ingram and Amanda Benson.
Stunning setting: followers of the Exmoor enjoy spectacular views and scenery. Pictured is Lucy Beeney Nicholls
The Exmoor hounds have diverse blood lines, including some American and Fell breeding
Pat Atkinson and hounds
In good spirits: Jessica Branton
Hattie Crabb, Char Hutsby and Pippa Stewart Hunter
Work experience student Louisa Zeale with her eight-year old pony who has taken well to hunting but not travelling. Thankfully senior master Felicita Busby and Ian Marfleet, the hunt’s countryman, were on hand to help load her pony this day
Immaculately dressed hunt secretary Richard Bowden
Pictures by www.hamishmitchellphotography.co.uk
Don’t miss our full hunting reports in the 2 April issue of Horse & Hound magazine