Hunting counties of Britain: Shropshire

  • Shropshire’s Foxhounds

    • Albrighton (started in 1830; prior to that the country was hunted by a pack under the name of Enville)
    • Ludlow
    • South Shropshire (shares its history with the North Shropshire, having once been hunted as a single country)
    • North Shropshire
    • Tanatside (the country was hunted by Harriers from 1754, and in 1928 replaced by Foxhounds)
    • United Pack
    • Wheatland (takes its name from the good wheat growing area)

    Other packs

    • Shropshire Beagles
    • Border Counties Minkhounds
    • Wyre Forest Beagles

    What kind of country is it?

    Dick Ballard, joint-master of the United Pack, says: “The country we cross is mixed, but is predominantly upland, as it’s on the Welsh border, hence we’re not a jumping country. Hunt jumps are mostly there for the convenience of the huntsman rather than for sport, but our area boasts spectacular views and countryside.”

    Melissa Browning, treasurer and honorary secretary of the Wheatland, says: “The terrain can suit all types of horse, from cob to Thoroughbred, but it needs to have a brain and be fit enough to jump out of a bog and then straight over post-and-rails. We’re a predominantly wheat growing country and we’ve been able to take advantage of set-aside land, but before that we had to trudge around copious amounts of corn.”

    Where would you go for a red-letter day?

    Ann Carding, master of the North Shropshire, says: “We hunt the area covering 26×24 miles from the River Severn in the south to Whitchurch in the north. Our country’s fun to cross and there’s always a way round for less able riders. We are very lucky to have quite a few large estates that are very accommodating to us.

    “As any hunting person will say, there’s no way of knowing when or where you will get a red-letter day and our best hunting lies in various pockets. Sansaw, in the centre of our country, always provides a good day, as well as the area around Calverhall, where there’s more grassland.”

  • This feature was first published in Horse & Hound (20 July, ’06)
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