Friday, 29 April 2016

Another Terrific Fun Ride

A good sized group, with faces old and new, set off from our Joint Masters' yard (a huge thank you to C & V) and enjoyed beautiful Kentish countryside on a bright, sunny morning.

As well as bridleways (and a little road work) the group had the chance to "lark" over the fences in a large tract of private woodland.

Thank you to the organisers and hosts - a terrific morning.

Fancy a hack? Please do get in touch - e-mail We ask for a £10 donation (for hunt funds) and have the chance to explore the country that we trail over in the winter in, we hope, kinder weather. It is fascinating to see the coverts in leaf, the growing crops and the bridleways not hock-deep in mud (well we hope that they all dry out soon).

As ever, these and many more may be found at The Gather's website HERE

Friday, 22 April 2016

Many Happy Returns

Last night Kennels Field played host to a beacon organised by the people of Elham to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday. What a terrific occasion in celebration of a very special lady who has served her country with honour, dignity and no small sense of humour.

God bless Your Majesty.

Kennels have been at Elham for more than a hundred years and, as last night proved, is very much part of the village. Indeed Elhamites have stopped your correspondent in the street on many occasions to ask "When is our Kennel's Open Day?"

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Future

The Hunting Cup, Under 17s Dinner and The Future

Every year the East Kent Hunt Branch of the Pony Club award The Hunting Cup to a youngster who has shown particular merit on the hunting field. Historically this was presented at the "Clean-up Rally" held on the day after the Point-to-Point at Aldington but in more recent years it has been presented on the day of the P-t-P in the parade ring. This year, the "regular" photographers were all set to "snap" the winner on Easter Monday but as you know the P-t-P had to be cancelled due to the condition of the ground. Luckily half of The Gather was with the Good Friday set-up team as was this year's recipient. Unfortunately they had attended armed with post-drivers, string, knife and various tools that might come in handy but without a camera! Therefore the photograph of Bella receiving the well-deserved award from Suze Gibson MFH had to be taken on a telephone.

On 7th April there was, what your correspondent takes to be, a first - the East Kent Hunt with West Street under 17s Dinner. Bella, Angus, Amelia, Immy, Toby, Millie, Bethan and Alice had a superb dinner thanks to Nicola and Joshua. A great new initiative - well done to all concerned.

Many thanks to Kimi for the photograph

The EKHwWS has always had a very positive relationship with the Pony Clubs in their country with mutual support. The Pony Clubs provide an excellent opportunity for those youngsters with no "hunting connections" to come along and find out what it is all about. As we know, hunting, even trail-hunting, is addictive and over the years whole families have been drawn in by a child's attendance at a Pony Club Meet or Mock Hunt. There are even folk who now follow on foot because they were introduced to following hounds by the Pony Club even though they are not from "hunting families".

As is often the case our young supporters are drawn away from the hunting field as University or work calls and the demands on their time make it difficult to to carry on as the demands of work, mortgages and children of their own make hunting difficult. But, to quote Dickens "there is a passion for hunting; something deeply implanted in the human breast" and that spark glows until time allows it to be re-kindled. Some return to horses and the mounted field, some find the wherewithal to buy a pony for their children and some buy a stout pair of boots - one way or another they are drawn back to the magic of a dawn draw in the Autumn, the excitement and conviviality of the Opening Meet or the magic of watching hounds try to work out the trail.

We are lucky to have these 8 junior stalwarts - they, together with those who were unable to attend the dinner, are the seeds of hunting's future.

Let's hope that our generation's efforts might just secure a repeal of the Hunting Act so that the future generations might have the opportunity to develop that love of hounds, the chase and Charlie's guile in the time-honoured fashion.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Could be another weather report

Yes! It was a little wet at times but the off-season riders met once more and enjoyed the hospitality of the "Os" which was splendid and beyond splendid at the end of the ride.

Joined by the young and no less than the recipient of the prestigious PC Hunting Cup the group enjoyed a ride that included tracks, bridleways and a little road work with a jump or two.

This really is a splendid initiative so jolly well done to those who are making this happen.

The Stern

  • Which photographers not only snap away but also happen to have the tools to clear blocked bridleways?
  • Who was glad that the aforementioned snappers were not near the jumps?
  • Who spilled blood?
  • Who was the "brightest" member of the party?
These and many more may be found at The Gather's webpage - click HERE

Copyright © 2015 The Gather Web-Services