More than 100 riders turned out for the opening meet of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt at Petworth House.
Huntsman, Adrian Thompson ‘Sage’ and first whip Tim Staines had the hounds looking fit and healthy for another season.
Stan Mayes, one of the hunt’s oldest and most loyal supporters, made a special trip from his nursing home to be part of the special day. “His wheelchair was instantly surrounded by hounds and the smile on his face beamed long into the night,” said joint master Charles Homan.
Tim Lee was field master for the day, with hunt secretary Nadine Crouch leading the non-jumping field.
“A five-minute very heavy downpour at midday did not dampen spirits and we were soon warming to the afternoon sun,” said Mr Homan.
“We would like to thank Lord and Lady Egremont, the farmers and shoot captains for another wonderful opening meet at Petworth House.”