Melton Mowbray Town Estate has decided to cancel this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing.
Dozens of members of The Quorn Hunt were due to meet in the town on January 1 to be served port and whisky in the stirrup cup before setting off for a trail hunt around local countryside.
The new year hunt meet usually attracts large crowds to the Melton park and big public gatherings are not curently allowed by government in government guidlines aiming to limit further spread of Covid.
John Southerington, chair of the town estate feoffees, who was instrumental in setting up the annual meet in 1983, told the Melton Times: “This will be the first time in all those years that we will not be going ahead with it.
“It is always well supported so it is shame but it would be very difficult to hold it in a safe manner.
“We are hoping we can welcome the hunt back again in January 2021 if it is safe to do so by then.”
Hunts originally met in Melton in Market Place, which is where the three territories of The Quorn, The Belvoir and The Cottesmore Hunts all meet up.
The event moved to Play Close on January 1, 1983, and the three hunts take it in turns to meet at Melton on a rota basis.
In recent years, groups of protestors have also gathered at the New Year meets to object to the sport taking place.