Friday, 1 January 2016

The Best Way to Start a New Year

At last: a morning that felt like a hunting morning - white frost, sun in the sky and an always well supported meet ahead.

A small group of protestors had gathered and the leader of Ramsgate Vegans spent his morning proclaiming his veganess and asserting that the horses and hounds were slaves. This does seem to your correspondent to be somewhat insulting to the tens of thousands of human beings who died in chains and their own filth while being forcibly transported to the sugar plantations. As a chap with a dachshund in his arms said after listening to the rant yet again, "Meet my slave." The only possible response to this was, "Goodness, a dachshund that talks." The dog's slave smiled knowingly.

While several of the protestors were vociferous in their dislike of those of us who hunt there was at least one who took himself away from the melée and stood, politely holding his poster, happy to engage in conversation - he was there because his conscience said that he should stand up and be counted. He did not rant or rave, he eschewed the bad language used by either side, made no attempt to hinder proceedings - was just there to quietly proclaim his position on the issue. We fell into conversation about music, made no attempt to "convert" each other and parted without rancour or bad feeling on either part. A quiet man of principle - tips cap.

More than 30 mounted left the High Street to a huge cheer of support and as many, if not more on foot, joined them at the first covert where hounds were cast to find the line.

It is a glorious sight, thirty and more mounted crossing the country. Perhaps at the first fence some of the jumping was not quite so glorious but with just one joining the Tumblers' Club before getting up with a broad smile and re-mounting, no harm was done.

These and many more may be found at The Gather's NEW gallery pages - HERE - once the images have uploaded - the first batch are there now - 18:00 but there are more to be added.
Clicking on an image will enlarge it.

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