It’s taken five years of practice, but I think we’ve cracked the logistical code that is the secret to hosting a good meet: throw staff and Whisky Mac at the problem and then get on a horse and ride off into the morning. That might sound rather Brideshead, but the ‘staff’ were all hunt volunteers, doing it for the love of the sport.
One teenager ate a sausage roll for every one that he handed out: the growing boy’s equivalent of mid-air refuelling. We’ve also learnt from previous years. Don’t leave the front door open when you have 20 couple of hungry hounds just outside. Tell car followers where to park and they won’t get stuck. Mow the grass and horses will tend not to interpret ‘lawn meet’ too literally.
I’m not pointing the finger at the stirrup cup, but there were several fallers throughout the day. Nonie, six, stayed on during all the galloping phases, but was deposited at a standstill when her pony, Jack, decided to have a good shake. She has become a member of the Tumblers’ Club, which is faithfully recorded on the hunt website. Another friend fell on his head after the first draw. He kept asking where we were going to have the meet. He’s subsequently made a good recovery, but will need to come again next year to remind himself how it all starts.