Expansion is afoot at the annual Silver Fox Challenge, in which hunt teams race head-to-head around a mirror-image course of traditional fences on the Hambleden Estate near Henley-on-Thames.
The usual contingent of 32 hunt teams is expected at this year’s fixture (25 September), but organisers are inviting riding clubs to enter a separate class after several requests from members who want to get in on the action. The estate also hopes to attract 5,000 spectators — 2,000 more than in previous years.
The knockout inter-hunt main event, which carries a first prize of £3,000 as well as the Silver Fox trophy, remains exclusive to teams of four hunt subscribers, farmers or hunt staff. It is held across two identical arenas over obstacles such as an Irish bank, water complex and road crossing from the estate’s novice and intermediate horse trials courses.
Last year’s winners were the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, with joint-masters Polly Portwin and Alice Paine, vet Bob Baskerville and point- to-point rider and amateur whip Tom Isley. The Four Burrow, from Cornwall, were runners-up and the Ballymacad, from Ireland, came third.
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