On Saturday 7th February 2015, Route hunt members and visitors met at Ballyhacket Primary School for their weekly hunt.
For many members this was their first visit to Ballyhacket as it has been several years since The Route has hunted at Ballyhacket but for a few it was a return to familiar ground.
The hunt left at noon and headed towards Ballyhacket viewing point in glorious sunshine. There was a pause along the way to take in the amazing view over the surrounding countryside before heading across the hillside. There was then a descent into a small stream before the first ditch of the day.
For some the ditch proved a bit tricky and they parted company with their horses but despite being rather muddy they remounted and carried on. The weather turned, with mist and drizzle making it impossible to see the countryside. This did not deter the hunt as they continued on jumping several hedges, a couple of walls and numerous ditches.
Throughout the day the hounds had picked up scent and set off but they returned without anything. There had been a few fallers throughout the day but the landings were soft so despite being rather muddy no one was too concerned.
After three and a half hours all were happy to head back to their boxes for a well earned rest. Once again thanks goes to those who organised the meet and to all the farmers and landowners who gave the hunt the use of their land. Without the co-operation of these people it would be impossible to exercise the Route Hunt horses over such wonderful countryside.
The next hunt is at noon on Saturday 14th February. The organisers hope to see a good turnout of members and visitors and welcome anyone who wishes to follow the hunt on foot.
The next Saturday, 21st February, the annual Route Equestrian Ball takes place in the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine. This is open to anyone who wishes to attend and this year the hunt is supporting Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.
For further details and tickets contact Norma Wilkinson on 028 7034 4848.