Hadleigh: Hundreds turn out to support the hunt
HUNDREDS of people turned out this morning to uphold the Boxing Day tradition of following the hunt.
Crowds converged on Holbecks Park in Hadleigh from 10.30am to watch the Essex and Suffolk Hunt as it set off on its annual festive jaunt across 25 miles of the counties’ open countryside.
Fears that the popular event might have to be cancelled following persistent heavy rain during the past few days proved unfounded as the sun shone and provided ideal conditions for participants and spectators.
Police put a traffic order in place around the park this year to cope with the volume of vehicles travelling to the event.
Among the spectators were people of all age groups including families who had travelled several miles to help keep the tradition alive. Caroline Wilmot, who has been supporting the hunt for nearly 20 years said: “I don’t really think many people who come out to watch the Hadleigh hunt think about the whole political message or the ideas behind hunting. I personally follow the hunt because I love dogs and horses and I think it’s a wonderful tradition to come out in the fresh air on Boxing Day and take advantage of our lovely countryside.”
Around 50 horses rode out with the hunt at Hadleigh this year and organisers say membership is booming.