Hundreds gather to meet hunt
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.
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.
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.
“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/