Maddybenny is first meet of year for Route

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On Saturday 3rd January 2015, 20 Route hunt members and nine visitors met at Morelli’s Lane, Maddybenny for the first meet of 2015.

The weather was perfect and spirits were high amongst horses and riders so all used the field at Morelli’s Lane to give the horses some exercise.

Hunt Master Philip White welcomed everyone to the meet, wished all a happy, healthy and safe riding new year and reminded everyone to take care of their horses and themselves by only jumping what they knew they could.

Huntsman Jonny Butler blew the horn and the hunt set off at 12.05pm.

There was a short hack and a race across some stubble fields before the first jump of the day where one rider took a tumble. It was then a gallop across more stubble fields where the hounds picked up a scent and were off in chase.

The hunt followed on at full pace but with no joy as the scent was lost.

It was then back towards Maddybenny for several more jumps including a sturdy stone wall. Some gave this a miss and instead took the lane way to the next jump which proved challenging as a few riders came unseated.

The hunt then headed off towards the coast and were rewarded with a view from the hill top over Portstewart and Portrush. After this there were several hedges to tackle as well as more fences and stone walls before the hack back to Maddybenny after three and a half hours of riding.

Despite there being a few fallers all had enjoyed another good day out.

Thanks goes to Jonny Butler for organising the meet and to all the farmers and landowners who give the hunt the use of their land.

The next hunt is at noon on Saturday 10th January.

The organisers hope to see a good turnout of members and visitors and welcome anyone who wishes to follow the hunt on foot.