BALLYVERSAL, home of Freddie and Lesley McDowell, was the venue for the Route Hunt meet on Saturday 12th January.
Thirteen hunt members and four visitors gathered at Ballyversal and enjoyed mulled wine before a few practice jumps in the McDowell’s arena. Hunt master Philip White welcomed everyone before the hunt set off.
There was a short hack before a canter around a stubble field. This left everyone ready for the first jump which was a fallen tree. The next jump was a fence in the hedge between two fields. There was then several hedges to jump and a few more gallops around stubble fields before the jump set up by huntsman Lee Johnson. This was poles and planks built into a hedge at the top of a hill, a jump not for the faint hearted. Most cleared this successfully but on the return jump down the hill Jan Barr managed to take off two of the planks leaving the jump much smaller which was appreciated by those who still had to jump.
There was then a pallet jump from one field into the next, two gates and two stone walls.
The hunt then hacked along Creamery Road into more stubble fields where huntsman Lee Johnson took the first hedge. From the take off side it looked ok but the drop on the other side was a bit of a surprise.
Campbell Smith and hunt secretary Julie Smyth then decided to have a go and also jumped it. The others declined and instead went for a canter and a couple of smaller hedges.
Having exercised for almost three hours all returned back to Ballyversal and enjoyed stew provided by Freddie and Lesley.
Hunt members thank the organisers for another good days hunting and the landowners for the use of their land.
Hunt organisers hope to see another good turnout for the next hunt on Saturday, January 19, at noon.
For further details about The Route Hunt please contact Philip White hunt master (07732 630 963) or Julie Smyth hunt secretary (07793 209 899).