Hunting world says farewell to side saddle rider Lady Margaret Fortescue

  • Hundreds attended the funeral of popular side saddle rider Lady Margaret Fortescue earlier this month (7 June).

    Lady Margaret, who died on 25 May aged 89, was a much admired rider who crossed the Quorn country with skill and dash before and after the second world war.

    She was the eldest daughter of the fifth Earl Fortescue, owner of the Castle Hill Estate in Filleigh, north Devon, which included 20,000 acres of Exmoor.

    For 12 hunting seasons before the war, her family hunted with the Quorn. They brought horses from the West Country to houses they rented at Thorpe Satchville, near Melton Mowbray.

    Lady Margaret married racehorse trainer Bernard van Cutsem in 1948 and thereafter travelled to Leicestershire to hunt from Newmarket.

    In 1958, she inherited the Castle Hill estate and later bought a hunting box in Thorpe Satchville to continue hunting with the Quorn and the Belvoir.

    In the 1980s, she was one of the few remaining Leicestershire side saddle riders who had hunted pre-war. Despite injuries in a heavy fall that ended her Shires hunting, Lady Margaret continued to ride at home into her 80s.

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)

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