On Boxing Day the Route hunt met at the home of Alison and Alan Millar, Killeague, Coleraine.
Despite the freezing conditions and icy yards and roads there was a turnout of 33 horses and riders and some followers on foot.
Before setting off refreshments were served. Hunt Master Ian Holmes welcomed everyone to the meet, thanked the Millars for their hospitality and handed over best turned out junior and senior prizes to Rocco Quinn and Mike Alcorn respectively as well as commending everyone on their turnout.
The hunt set off for a trot around a field, at the back of the Millar’s house, where a small fallen tree was the first jump of the day.
Everyone returned to the Millar’s sand arena and jumped the plank fence out of the arena and then headed off down the laneway to the rest of the jumps.
Throughout the day there were numerous stone walls of various heights, a substantial hedge with a surprise drop on the other side, a ditch, a five bar gate, a fence made of fallen trees across one of the laneways and a natural drop fence from one field into another.
Several of the jumps were quite challenging and four riders took a tumble on the day. Local vet Cathal Carr also left the saddle but he managed to land on his feet which got him a hearty cheer. There were also some riders who had near misses but luckily managed to stay aboard.
Some of the ground was quite hard but some was very wet and muddy and one foot follower fell over in the mud which of course was caught on camera.
Despite the cold and the tumbles all had enjoyed another good day out thanks to hunt organisers Ian Holmes and Gerard McCloskey, who set up the jumps, and to the Millars and all the other landowners and farmers who gave the hunt the use of their land.
The next hunt is at noon today (Wednesday 1st January). The organisers hope to see a good turnout of members and visitors and welcome anyone who wishes to follow the hunt on foot. For further details on this or about joining the Route Hunt please contact the Hunt secretary (Julie Smyth 07793209899).