with Horse and Hound

Boxing Day Foxhunting Meets Draw Big Crowds in UK

While Boxing Day—the day after Christmas—passes largely unnoticed in the U.S., it traditionally draws large number of riders and spectators at foxhunting meets in England. According to The Daily Mail, a quarter of a million hunt supporters turned out for meets all across the country.

Now a bank holiday in England, Boxing Day is thought to derive its name from the boxing and giving of gifts by wealthy folks to their servants after enjoying their own holiday on Christmas Day. The servants would have the following day off to visit their own families and bring boxes of gifts and probably leftover food.

Since the foxhunting ban was passed in England, Boxing Day crowds annually refocus attention on the sport, eliciting statements in the press supporting and condemning both sides of the issue.

Before forming his government, Prime Minister David Cameron promised a free vote in Parliament on a repeal of the hunting ban. However, as we have reported, because the outcome of the vote is uncertain at this time, there hasn’t been great pressure to bring the matter to the floor.

Posted December 30, 2011