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First national basset hunting day hailed a success

More than 100 supporters from across the UK took part in the first national basset hunting day.

The event, organised by the Masters of Basset Hounds Association (MBHA) and hosted by the masters and supporters of the Four Shires Basset Hounds, took place on 1 February with eight packs of MBHA registered basset hounds being represented.

A spokesman for the MBHA said “like all the best hunting days”, proceedings began with a sit-down breakfast near Chipping Norton allowing visitors to meet their hosts, which included the Four Shires joint masters Rosie Wilson, Will Tidy and Libby Cooke.

Credit: Greg Knight, Ruralshots Photography

“After breakfast it was off to the meet where Will welcomed the field and thanked their host for the day, as well as all the generous Oxfordshire farmers who make their land available to the Four Shires,” he said.

“Four Shires huntsman Wayne Keeble and his enthusiastic team of hunt staff turned out 12 and a half couple of hounds in excellent condition, who picked up the first line shortly after moving off,” added the spokesman.

The spokesman said the large field was kept entertained throughout the day by Wayne and his team of whippers-in.

“As often happens in the field one of the best runs came at the end of the day where the 40 or so members of the field who had stayed out witnessed superb hound work before darkness fell, and Wayne blew for home,” he said.

The day was completed with a dinner attended by guest of honour, retired huntsman of the Duke of Beaufort’s hounds, Tony Holdsworth.

Rosie Wilson said it had been great to see everyone from across the Basset hunting community pull together to make the event a success.

“In particular I’d like to thank my joint masters and our hunt staff, as well as all of our hosts over the weekend, without whom it would have been impossible to put the event together,” she said.

“Wayne has done a fantastic job since joining us as huntsman at the end of last season and it was great we had the opportunity to show other people the great hound work we have been enjoying all season.”

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MBHA chairman Steve Little added the masters of the Four Shires Basset Hounds should be congratulated on their excellent organisation of the event.

“It was a great pleasure to meet so many supporters of hunting, many of whom travelled a long way to support the event,” he said.

“I would particularly like to thank Will, Libby and Rosie and her team, as well as all those who travelled from other packs and together made the day such a success.”

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