Long-established Holcombe Hunt keeps tradition going and invites public to Boxing Day parade with hounds
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In previous years the Holcombe Hunt has always made an appearance at Rivington Barn on Boxing Day, but this year the event is being staged in the picturesque village of Pleasington, near Blackburn.
The event will see the Hunt’s prized pack of rare Stud Book Harriers taking part in a demonstration of trail laying.
Fox hunting was banned by the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales, and the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 in Scotland, but Holcombe Hunt has been able to continue many of its traditions legally, by using an artificial scent.
Despite this, there are still some people who are opposed to the very idea of hunters and hounds continuing.
The Holcombe Hunt is keen to invite the public to see its traditional event, to help dispel misconceptions about what it does.
The ‘Holcombe Harriers’ parade will set off from The Railway Hotel at noon and then head down to the River Darwen for the session to begin.
Helen Walsh, who is a member of Holcombe Hunt and is the PR representative of the British Hound Sports Association, says there are many misunderstanding about hunts.
She said: “Hunts have not pursued foxes for nearly 20 years and we use only an artificial scent.
"Another misconception is that people in hunts are very well off, from privileged backgrounds, but in reality we come from all walks of life.
"It’s an exhilarating sport, to be able to ride with the hounds, and it brings people together.
"We decided to invite the public along and take a close look.
"Pleasington is a lovely village and it will be a wonderful day out on Boxing Day.”
Holcombe Hunt takes its name from a village near Bury where it is traditionally based, and it operates throughout Lancashire and parts of Greater Manchester.
It is one of the oldest hunts in the country, tracing its roots back to 1086 and the hounds are one of only eight packs of Stud Book Harriers in the country.