The names of the 10 huntsmen from packs from all areas of the country that will take part in a prestigious hornblowing competition have now been revealed.
They will be competing at the Horn & Hound Ball — which is a celebration of hunting — at Cheltenham racecourse on 25 April.
The winner will be presented with the Dorian Williams Horse & Hound Trophy, which was first awarded in 1952. The huntsmen — some amateur and some professional — will also be competing to win an engraved Henry Keat hunting horn, sponsored by Horse & Hound.
The finalists — who will be asked to blow “gone away” and “going home” — will be judged by Alastair Jackson and Nigel Peel MFH, master and huntsman of the North Cotswold.
Those preparing to take part in this year’s national competition are:
- Ian Shakespeare, of the Surrey Union
- Robert McCarthy, of the Percy
- Tony Holdsworth, of the Duke of Beaufort’s
- Mick Wills, of the Grafton
- Owain Fisher, of the Carmarthenshire
- Steven Coates MFH, of the West Somerset
- Gerald Sumner MFH, of the Kimblewick
- Tom Cranage, of the Ampleforth Beagles
- David Every, of the Park Beagles
- Martin Brocklehurst, of the High Peak Harriers
Among the competitors is a former winner of the trophy. Tony Holdsworth, who has been at the Duke of Beaufort’s since 2001, won the competition in 1994 when he was the huntsman of the Tiverton. Last year’s winner was Gary Barber, huntsman of the Pembrokeshire.
The ball — being held in aid of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society — is expected to be a sell-out, with approximately 600 revellers enjoying a champagne reception followed by dinner and dancing to the “29 Fingers”.
In addition to the hornblowing competition, there will also be both a silent and a live auction on the night. Lots include Rugby World Cup tickets, a Harriet Glen bronze sculpture, hunting holidays in the UK and abroad, a Daniel Crane canvas print and various other exciting items.
Tickets cost £100. For further information contact Lizzie Dyer. Email: email@example.com or tel: 01285 653001.