What makes a perfect hunting day? According to one of our followers, Nirvana was practically achieved 10 days ago when they had a long run, an air ambulance was summoned and the master delivered what used to be called an ‘imperial rocket’. Chacun à son gout, but unpredictability is certainly part of the attraction. We visited our neighbouring pack on Saturday, who showed us some fine sport, but also what it’s like to be followed by hunt saboteurs. All dressed in black, one of their number is known as Methadone Mick. It would have been difficult to identify the other 20 or so as most of them had scarves over their faces. Plentiful, well-built hunt jumps enabled us to cross the country quickly and we even had some hedges to set the pulses racing.

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The going is so wet that it’s more slurry than mud; the default action whenever you come onto a lane is to check your horse still has all his shoes. There was no hiding for anyone who fell; forensics would appreciate the assistance-brown patches smeared across their coat and breeches indicated exactly how they landed. Those who still had the energy represented the hunt in a football match the next day against the Leconfield estate, and the Wyndham family, inhabitants of Petworth House. A perfect hunting weekend.

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