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Hundreds gather for Boxing Day hunt with horses and hounds

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.
LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

Horses, hounds and spectators gathered at Rivington for the traditional Boxing Day Holcombe Hunt.

Resplendent in their bright scarlet jackets, around 60 riders took part in what is reputedly the oldest hunt in Britain at over 1,000 years old.

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

Hundreds of spectators turned out to watch the spectacle led by Senior Master of the Holcombe Hunt Sue Simmons.

The Holcombe Hunt does not hunt live animals but provides a traditional day out. Hunting live quarry with dogs was banned in 2004.

Sue Simmons has been hunting for 30 years and has held the position of Senior Master for the last nine. She led the riders as they circled the field before embarking from Rivington Hall Barn on the two-and-a-half hour ride.

Sue Simmons said: “It was a cold but very pleasant day and we had a good turnout from the public. We always get a lot of support for the hunt on Boxing Day and this year was no exception.

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

“We also had a good turnout of riders of all ages from two to 70.

“We did a parade of the Holcombe hounds and then went on a hunt ride of the local area courtesy of the local farmers.

“2017 was the 400th anniversary of King James I knighting the sirloin of beef at Hoghton Tower. This is where he gave the hunt the right to wear the scarlet and gold livery of the Crown.”

The riders will be out again at noon on New Year’s Day from the Dressers Arms in Wheelton and the public are welcome to watch.

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP   26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.

LEP 26-12-17'Action from the annual Boxing Day Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn, Horwich.