Romance and tradition combined at the Ross Harriers’ boxing day meet, when the master proposed to his girlfriend in front of a packed marketplace.
Owain Fisher picked the busy meet to pop the question to his partner of four years Asher Jenkins, who said yes.
The 28-year-old hunt servant surprised Asher by going on bended knee following his master’s speeches, where he was quickly joined by some enthusiastic hounds.
“We were in Ross market square and I had given my speeches, thanking the landowners, and just before the joint master said ‘hounds please’, I said ‘just one more thing…’,” Owain told H&H.
“I got off my horse where Asher was in front of me giving the hounds a fuss and got down on one knee where I was mobbed by the hounds who started singing and barking.
“It was a complete surprise for her and luckily she said yes. I thought she had wind of it a couple of times but she didn’t, she was completely in the dark.”
Owain had even managed to calculate the right ring size.
“I managed to get a good friend of hers to invite her over to help her buy a Pandora ring for Christmas but it was all a bluff — I was trying to get ring sizes for Asher. I went to Hereford and bought the ring and hid it in the house and then had to buy Christmas presents as normal [so she wouldn’t catch on].
“Apparently I did ‘out of this world’! Fortunately we’re alike in a lot of ways and have similar tastes.”
Owain said that the story had met with a lot of interest online and from the national press, with many saying how romantic the proposal was.
While all he cared about was a yes, Owain said there was one thing he would change about the day if he could do it again.
“Asher wasn’t riding, she was on foot,” he said. “So I proposed, got on my horse and then she went one way and I went the other — somebody said ‘what if she’d said no?” I said ‘well the outcome would be the same, I’d just have ridden off!
“In hindsight, it would have been nice if we could have spent a bit of time together afterwards. If someone proposes over a meal then you are together for a while, as it is, it’s only sinking in now a couple of days down the line.”
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The couple met in their native Carmarthenshire where Owain was in hunt service and Asher was a follower. Asher, who is also 28, combines working as a nurse in A&E with taking care of the pair’s four horses.
“It’s especially good sharing interests when you’re in hunt service. Asher tends to do more with the horses and make sure they are all right while I concentrate on the hounds,” said Owain.
While they haven’t yet set a date for the wedding, it is expected that celebration won’t involve the help of the pack.
“I’m leaving hunt service in May so we can focus on getting on the property ladder, though I’d like to go back to it later on,” said Owain. “I’m not one of those people who believes in getting engaged for ten years, so the wedding will be within the next year or two at the most.”
For eight pages of pictures from Boxing Day meets across the country, see next week’s H&H magazine, out 4 January.