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A proper cracker: a pre-lockdown day out with the North Cotswold *H&H Plus*

A last day’s hunting before lockdown at Papermill Farm, Gloucestershire (30 December) turns out to be a special one as hounds fly on a screaming scent, reports Catherine Austen

A good friend and I have a sort of code expression for a disappointing day’s hunting.

“How was it?” one asks.

“It was lovely to be out…” replies the other.

We know exactly what we mean; barring disasters, an unexciting day’s hunting is always better than not going at all, but not every day is a great one. Of course, this makes you appreciate the really good ones even more, and my reply in the lorry on the way home from the North Cotswold on 30 December was, “It was a proper cracker.”

In the seven-and-a-half years I have lived in the Heythrop country, until recently I had barely ever had a day with our neighbours, the North Cotswold. There was no good reason for this, except that if you pay a subscription to a pack and aren’t rolling in money, you tend to want to get as much bang for your buck as having one horse allows, and paying a visiting cap makes the overdraft wobble rather.

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