VIDEO: Boxing Day hunt attracts hundreds of supporters

A CROWD of hundreds gathered to greet the Fernie Hunt for its traditional Boxing Day meet in Great Bowden.

The hunt itself was able to go ahead this year amid much-improved weather conditions after last year’s event had to be called off due to frozen ground.

Crowd pleaser...the Fernie Hunt meet in Great Bowden during Boxing Day.'(Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001392-53)

Crowd pleaser...the Fernie Hunt meet in Great Bowden during Boxing Day.'(Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001392-53)

Hundreds gathered to welcome the hunters, who allowed their hounds to roam among the spectators, bringing smiles to the faces of children and adults alike.

The dressage of the horses, healthy coats of the dogs and welcoming nature of the smartly-dressed riders made the event a spectacle.

Harborough MP Edward Garnier was there on the day visiting family and took time out to attend the traditional meet on The Green.

Welton’s shop and tearoom served hot coffee and bacon rolls to an ever-increasing crowd.

Sophie Leebrook (12) visiting from Arizona and Molly Sykes (12) during the Fernie Hunt Boxing Day meet on the green in Great Bowden. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001392-52)

Sophie Leebrook (12) visiting from Arizona and Molly Sykes (12) during the Fernie Hunt Boxing Day meet on the green in Great Bowden. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001392-52)

Chris Parker, master of the Fernie Hunt, said the ground was far better for the hunt itself than it has been for two years.

The hunt followed a scent trail in the fields around Bowden.

The event was a family affair and the new leader of Great Bowden’s St Peter and St Paul Church, the Rev James Shakespeare, was there with his two children, greeting parishioners and experiencing the event for the first time.

An Australian was among the crowds to ‘see what all the fuss was about’ and others were visiting from all over the country to show their support for the hunt and its traditions.