Thursday, 23 November 2017

A few from the meets

The briefest of reports as circumstances prevented your correspondent from following on either of the days depicted. As ever we are grateful to our hosts who provided such generous hospitality at the meets and of course our landowners, keepers and farmers without their support we could not go on.

Wishing "S" a speedy recovery no doubt tenderly assisted by his partner.

These and many more may be viewed by clicking HERE

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Someone will be sore that they joined the Tumblers' Club

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month those mounted and on foot stood in silent contemplation of all that others have given and continue to give in the service of their Queen and country that we might enjoy the lives that we have. One such reflection appears at the foot of this post.

During the Great War, when Selby-Lowndes was Master he organised bye days for the troops waiting to cross the channel to the Western Front that they might escape their fears for a few brief hours enjoying the music of hounds and the beautiful British countryside. Indeed many senior officers believed that all of their junior officers should hunt as it "improves the way they read the country." It was not unusual for Subalterns and others to lead their troops "over the top" while blowing a hunting horn.

With thanks to those whose lives or health was given for our freedom hounds led the way to the day's country. With the field at times split between those who wished to jump and those who did not an enjoyable day was had by (nearly) all.

Hats off to our Huntsman for re-mounting after a nasty fall and carrying on for the day - hope that you are not too sore this morning.

The Stern
Who proved that 54 plate Navaras are not the ones that split in half?
Who, once again, shouted "Delete! Delete! as they jumped a fence?

As ever these may be enlarged with a click and more may be viewed by clicking HERE

Feel the sympathy

Hearing and reading the accounts of men who were there at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 they report many different responses. Some cheered and threw hats and helmets into the air, a rain of headgear replacing the now passed storm of shrapnel. Other men slumped and slept as if they had not found rest for years, some sat, grimy faces buried deep in muddy hands with tears washing cleaner lines between their fingers. Other men lay dying from wounds sustained during the last days of fighting, broken at war and loosing their last battle in the first few moments of peace. Of course men continued to die from terrible physical wounds and savage mental destruction. The latter unable to live with their memories, unable to reconcile their survival with the ghastly deaths of their friends and comrades. The infant psychology was only then beginning to recognise the guilt that survivors feel, the dishonour of living when others died.
In some sections of the line men raised glasses of plundered wine and tried to wash away the memories and others just celebrated.
The stories are the same on both sides of the line with little difference between the vanquished and the victors for all had won peace and all had lost youth, innocence and friends. For many, peace on earth was paid for with their peace of mind. Some blocked the memories for years while others immediately set pen to paper. Those who shared their memories often spoke or wrote of the "best of times the worst of times."
Today, at 11 o'clock we give 2 minutes of our lives to those who gave years of theirs: respectful and grateful: heads bowed and bared in deference, thanking the memories of those old soldiers and thanking those who never grew old. Thanks to those who served before, since and serve still for they won and defend our freedom to stand with the autumn light on our shoulders and the cool breeze across an uncovered head.
Today in a quiet place that might be both public and intensely private there is an appointed time to stand alongside those memories without the sound of guns and the savage symphony of death but not a day should pass when we should not take a moment to give our thanks and appreciate all that we have because of all that brave men and frightened men, lost. Thank you.

"That far away echo" Snaffles

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ditches? What ditches?

To host a meet at a remote barn and provide delicious, hot sausages, sausage role and other delights is quite an achievement. For this we thank the "F" family as we also thank the landowners for allowing us to lay trails and follow them across their fields.

It was good to see some old faces at the meet and on the trail - there is a glue that holds our community together with friendships that are so easily re-ignited after long intervals.

A special mention for one of our newest, mounted recruits and the Joint Master who so willingly helped the former out of a bit of a jam. The route today required a certain amount of ditch-crossing, maybe not quite in the Scarteen league but scary enough, especially for a tyro rider. With much expert advise available from the (unmounted) watchers our fellow was stuck after the field had crossed the dyke. Not all, it should be noted, had crossed with ease. One of the Joint Masters, spotting our tyro's plight returned, swapped mounts and both eventually passed safely over. What a gentleman!

The Stern

Who, while following a Master's lorry to the Meet, was surprised at a right hand turn but thought, "Ah . .  they must have changed the Meet."

. . . and the corollary: which Master thought "Ah, Nick's following us so we must be right."

Who might just be willing to pay large sums of money to have some images from the day permanently deleted?

Which two stalwarts set off to assist our tyro to the comment, "Well it sure as hell's going over that ditch now!"

Whose well travelled bowler found a new home?

Whose finger-fillet cramped their style?


These and more may be viewed HERE

. . . and they both made it over . . .

. . . to a round of applause 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Yet another good day

With a big "thank you" to our hosts, landowners and a huge "thank you" to our keepers we had a terrific day. Trails were catchy but hounds did their best which, frankly, is pretty darn good. Hats off to hunt staff who consistently draw a pack for the day that looks good and works well.

This was a day of following on the heels of a local shoot. To repeat - a huge "thank you" to the keepers and shoot captains for allowing us to be so close on their heels.

The final "thank you" must go to the Master of the day for providing a most enjoyable day to all.

Many people put in a huge effort even before we take hounds out for the day. One landowner spent some hours moving cattle that we might enjoy a good pipe-opener over hunt jumps that they had spent even more time making safe.

The EKHwWS are blessed.

The Stern

  • Who, upon leaving the Meet, called out: "My blood group's 'O' and they can have all of my organs!"?
  • Who might like to investigate "velcro saddle wedges" to stop their legs flying back?

These and many more may be found HERE - more to come too!
The final Autumn Trail hunting images have been uploaded HERE

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