Hundreds welcome Quorn Hunt riders for New Year’s Day meeting in Melton

Quorn Hunt hounds and horses on show in the Play Close EMN-180201-085118001
Quorn Hunt hounds and horses on show in the Play Close EMN-180201-085118001
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Hundreds of people converged on the Play Close in Melton yesterday (New Year’s Day) to welcome members of the UK’s oldest group of hunters.

Around 50 riders with the Quorn Hunt, which dates back to 1696, were in town for the tradtional New Year’s Day meet.

Riders looking resplendent as the Quorn Hunt meets on New Year's Day in Melton EMN-180201-085252001

Riders looking resplendent as the Quorn Hunt meets on New Year's Day in Melton EMN-180201-085252001

Glasses of port were handed to the mounted male and female members to toast the dawn of 2018 before the group set off to hunt in the Upper Broughton area.

Hunt secretary Frank Herrick said: “It was a good turnout of over 50 riders and there must have been 400 to 500 people in the park to welcome us.

“We come back to Melton every years and the members always get a good reception in the town.

“Melton Mowbray Town Estate kindly invites us to meet there and it is always enjoyable.

Play Close in Melton welcomed the Quorn Hunt this year on New Year's Day EMN-180201-085305001

Play Close in Melton welcomed the Quorn Hunt this year on New Year's Day EMN-180201-085305001

“Later on, the hunt went off trail hunting in the Upper Broughton area.”

The Quorn meeting in the Melton area played an important part in the nation’s history during the 20th century, when the then Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, met the divorcee Wallis Simpson after a day’s hunting at Burrough Court. He later famously abdicated the throne to be with her.

The current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, also regularly rode with the Quorn before foxhunting was banned 13 years ago.

Members of the Quorn also met on Boxing Day, at Prestwold Hall, near Wymeswold.

Crowds out for a traditional New Year's Day scene in Melton EMN-180201-085334001

Crowds out for a traditional New Year's Day scene in Melton EMN-180201-085334001

Mr Herrick said: “There is generally a bigger turnout on Boxing Day and this year we must have had between 1,000 and 1,500 people there to welcome us and around 100 riders taking part.”

The Quorn Hunt meets in Play Close for new year EMN-180201-085138001

The Quorn Hunt meets in Play Close for new year EMN-180201-085138001

A glass of port to welcome in the new year for riders with the Quorn Hunt EMN-180201-085203001

A glass of port to welcome in the new year for riders with the Quorn Hunt EMN-180201-085203001

Youngest rider at the Quorn Hunt's new year meet at Melton was 5-year-old Eva Young on her pony, Ossie EMN-180201-085356001

Youngest rider at the Quorn Hunt's new year meet at Melton was 5-year-old Eva Young on her pony, Ossie EMN-180201-085356001

Huntsman Peter Collins leads the hounds out of Play Close on New Year's Day EMN-180201-085105001

Huntsman Peter Collins leads the hounds out of Play Close on New Year's Day EMN-180201-085105001