Hundreds gather for New Year’s Day Melton hunt

Quorn huntsman Peter Collins leads the hounds into Play Close.
Quorn huntsman Peter Collins leads the hounds into Play Close.
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Hundreds of people braved the snow and ice to take part in the traditional New Year’s Day hunt in Melton.

More than 300 towns people and about 60 mounted followers were present as the Quorn Hunt met in Play Close park before parading through the town.

Riders and hounds gather in front of St.Mary's Church.

Riders and hounds gather in front of St.Mary's Church.

Hundreds watched the riders who headed off towards the Hicking area before finally ending up at Vale View in Old Dalby.

Alan Schroeder, chairman of the Quorn Hunt, said: “It was great to see so many people turn out despite the icy conditions which effected how many people could ride.

“We had people of all ages involved either riding or spectating.

“After the hunt we boxed up the horses and hounds at Vale View.”

Senior Town Warden Dinah Hickling welcomes Quorn joint master Tim Hercock.

Senior Town Warden Dinah Hickling welcomes Quorn joint master Tim Hercock.

Mr Schroeder, who has been chairman for over 10 years said that the tradition of hunting is still alive and that the day was a successful meet.

This year marked 10 years since the Hunting Act was drafted.

The Act, which became law on February 18, 2005, bans the use of dogs to hunt wild mammals, principally foxes, deer, hares and mink, in England and Wales.

However, it does not affect drag-hunting where hounds follow a deliberately-laid scent trail.

Sisters Grace and Sophie Spokes get ready to enjoy their ride.

Sisters Grace and Sophie Spokes get ready to enjoy their ride.

Mr Schroeder, said: “We know the ban in place is not likely to be overturned anytime soon but we remain hopeful of getting the ban reappealed.”

He added that the hunt were determined to have fun within the law and continue to maintain the long traditions of the event.

4 year old Braidy - Leigh Bayliss sets off on pony Woody.

4 year old Braidy - Leigh Bayliss sets off on pony Woody.

Camera enthusiasts capture the seasonal scene.

Camera enthusiasts capture the seasonal scene.

Riders enjoyed mild weather at the town centre meet.

Riders enjoyed mild weather at the town centre meet.