Hundreds gather to meet hunt

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183208009
Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183208009
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Hundreds of people gathered in Stilton to see the traditional Boxing Day hunt.

The Fitzwilliam Hunt held their meeting in Stilton village centre, with large crowds gathering for the event.

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183331009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183331009

People attending were able to get close to some of the animals used by the hunt, including the pack of hounds, dozens of horses, and even a golden eagle.

Simon Hunter was in post as huntsman for the first time at the traditional festive event.

Mr Hunter had taken over the role of huntsman - a senior role in the hunt - from previous huntsman George Adams in May.

Mr Adams had been in the post since 1984 before retiring.

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183407009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183407009

Philip Baker, joint master of the hunt, said: “We had over 100 people mounted on horses as well as the dogs and the bird of prey.

“There were hundreds of people who came to see us - possibly up to one thousand, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

“The dogs are used to flush out the fox, so we can stay within the law.

“George Adams had been huntsman for many years, and is now enjoying a well earned retirement, so Simon Hunter has taken charge.

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183430009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183430009

“In his role as huntsman, he is the person who looks after the dogs and the welfare. He lives at the kennels, and is in charge of feeding and exercising them, and is also in charge of them when they are out on the hunt.”

The hunt itself, which is based in Milton and covers land between Peterborough and Stamford, has been active for more than 250 years, having been formed in the 1740s.

The Fitzwilliam Hunt will meet again in Wansford on Monday, January 2 at noon, when hundreds of people are again expected to meet the animals and huntsmen and women. The event is normally held on New Year’s Day, but moves when it falls on a Sunday. For more information about the hunt, visit www.fitzwilliamhunt.com/

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183308009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183308009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton. John  Mease with his eagle EMN-161226-183754009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton. John Mease with his eagle EMN-161226-183754009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183343009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183343009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton. Isla Garrett (3) with one of the hounds EMN-161226-183805009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton. Isla Garrett (3) with one of the hounds EMN-161226-183805009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183453009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183453009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183504009

Boxing Day Fitzwilliam Hunt at Stilton EMN-161226-183504009