Trust between huntsman and hounds, an excellent team and a pack that can hunt independently sum up the Eggesford, says Rebecca Jordan
“Your hounds are nearly feral,” a foot-follower recently remarked to Jason Marles, master and huntsman of the Eggesford. It was the greatest compliment anyone could lay at his feet.
The Eggesford is the largest hunting country in Devon, fitting snugly between Dartmoor and Exmoor in north and mid Devon. The characteristic patchwork profile encompasses up to 700 livestock farms. It is chocolate-box pretty: emerald green rolling hills, deep valleys studded with deciduous woodland harbouring streams and rivers, and hedges thick with brambles. Little has changed in centuries; only now its ubiquitous Devon banks are girdled with wire.
This is an enviable old-fashioned hunting country with just the one A-road and a single railway line. It’s not so amenable, though, when it comes to keeping with hounds when they are running.
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