Join James Barclay---an ex-Master of five English foxhunts---for a personal and revealing tour of elite hunting establishments through Middle and Eastern England. Part 2 to follow.
This last summer has been one of the busiest for a while with a fair share of weekends spent judging various Puppy Shows, which is always a pleasurable thing to do, but sadly does nothing beneficial for the waistline! It is always nice to look at hounds during their restful period, and we can soon start to gauge what there is coming on from behind the scenes and start to assess the breed’s general standard.
On that note, it is a great relief to see a lot of nice hounds about, as there was a time after that dreaded day in February 2005 when the Hunting Act became law that many packs cut right back to a minimum. However, to see that confidence returning is most reassuring to all of us who take the breeding of the Foxhound seriously.
Now the time had come to dust off the camera and get out there and firstly to take some early morning pictures of hounds on exercise. This is a wonderful time of year as, given the blessing of some good weather, harvest starts to move, and with those dewy late summer mornings and a hint of mist in the air, our countryside comes to life in a way any true hunting man knows. So visits to Badminton, Belvoir and the Bicester were a particular pleasure this year, as last summer, I had decided to cover most packs in the Eastern Counties as well as the Midlands.