Crowd gathers for New Year's Day meet in Midhurst

It was a familiar and spectacular sight and a large crowd gathered to watch the start of another year for the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt.

Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 8:04 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:53 pm
1st Whip Tim Staines and Huntsman Sage Thompson lead the field at the Spread Eagle Hotel. Picture by JSBeePhotography.

They had come to see the traditional New Year’s Day meet of the hunt which takes place at The Spread Eagle Hotel in the heart of the historic market town of Midhurst.

“This historic Inn has hosted many a meet since it was built back in 1430,” said joint Master of Foxhounds Charles Homan adding the New Year’s Day meet of 2017 was given a warm welcome by J-J Pollak (general manager of the hotel), Horace and the hotel team.

“A mounted field of 45 riders and several hundred supporters on foot who had gathered to watch were served with mulled wine and food from their sumptuous kitchen,” said Charles.

Charles Homan MFH and Paul Lyon-Mari MFH in front of The Field moving of from the Spread Eagle Hotel. Picture by JSBeePhotography.

“On a damp New Year’s day, this was the perfect way to shake away the cobwebs from a night of revelling the evening before welcoming in 2017.

“Hounds, horses and their mounts, enjoyed an eventful day hunting over the gorgeous countryside around Midhurst.

“Long may this traditional meet continue and what better way to welcome 2017.”

Ist whip, Tim Staines and huntsman Sage Thompson led the field away from the hotel on a brisk morning with the hounds around them anxious for the off.

Huntsman, 1st Whip and hounds with supporters and mounted field at The Spread Eagle Hotel. By JSBeePhotography

And Joint Masters of Foxhounds Charles Homan and Paul Lyon-Maris were at the front as it moved off down Chichester Road and out of Midhurst.

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Some of the Mounted Field arriving at The Spread Eagle Hotel. Picture by JSBeePhotography

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Sage Thompson leads his hounds away from the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography

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Some of the younger mounted field on the way to the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography
Supporters making friends with hounds at the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography SUS-170301-122718001
Charles Homan MFH and Paul Lyon-Mari MFH in front of The Field moving of from the Spread Eagle Hotel. Picture by JSBeePhotography.
Huntsman, 1st Whip and hounds with supporters and mounted field at The Spread Eagle Hotel. By JSBeePhotography
Some of the Mounted Field arriving at The Spread Eagle Hotel. Picture by JSBeePhotography
Sage Thompson leads his hounds away from the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography
Some of the younger mounted field on the way to the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography
Supporters making friends with hounds at the meet. Picture by JSBeePhotography SUS-170301-122718001