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Who's Who

Masters

Lady Victoria Percy

Michael Hutchinson

Charles Bucknall - Master and Chairman

Hon Secretary

Emma Howie - 07901836109 Please ring after 6pm
E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Huntsman: Robert McCarthy

Whipper In: Matthew Sewell

Stud Groom: Phillip McCarthy

Kennels Telephone No: 01665 602047

 


Chairman's Report

It is difficult to describe the last season, but suffice to say that it was like the curate's egg, very good in parts, but terrible from other points of view. We had a very good start Autumn Hunting, which went extremely well, leading to an early Opening Meet and a real purple patch when the scent of the trail was amazing on through until 17th December, when the first snow came. Hounds and horses were all looking fantastic, but with the snow, the horses had to take a back seat and we continued to hunt on quads and foot. However, the horses did come out for the Boxing Day meet and New Years Day, for the spectacle and Sandy Williams got a wonderful picture of them hacking up Canongate in a snow storm. However, on both days, they went home after the meet and Robert and Giles continued on Quads and on foot, though on Boxing Day they lost the quad into a snow drift in the first gate off the road and had to continue on foot! It should be noted that The Percy Hounds did not miss a single day during the season, which is a considerable achievement for the staff.

The snow makes life very trying in the kennels, keeping horses and hounds fit and fed properly, in some ways it was easier for the Hounds as they kept hunting during the whole 7 week period, whereas it was very difficult keeping the horses fit, not knowing if they were needed to hunt the next week, with icy roads, fields covered in snow and no horse walker or indoor school! So Robert, Giles and Zoe did us proud again.


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New Years Day 2010 -
Picture courtesy of Sandy Williamson
Sandy's Website: www. swphotographyalnwick.co.uk is now up and running

The other aspect of losing hunting on Horses over Christmas and the New Year is that it curtails visitors, which has a big financial impact on the hunt finances, and this was further hit when our Meet the Foxer's: Percy's Got Talent Evening had to be cancelled - much too many people's relief!

Once the snow had gone, care had to be taken not to damage the land, as a result of wet going, but we had a good end to the season, ending on a bizarre warm day in blazing sunshine!

We ran an extremely successful auction and buffet, beautifully organised by Fiona Woodcock, the week after the final days hunting, at Guyzance Hall, which was kindly hosted by Robert and Gina Parker. The evening was made by the wonderful surroundings and also the very generously donated lots and bidding. We had some wonderful sticks made by Geof Riddell, Robert Wilson and an anonymous donor, which were very popular, Giles made a Ladies and Gents Hunting Whip (I always call it a crop- very naff!) that was so popular and well bid that he had to make a further one to satisfy demand, as well as a Daniel Crane picture of Hounds and Hunt staff at Dunstanburgh organised by Harry Vickers, days trekking, Racing Evenings, shooting. This was a major fund raiser, made successful by the efforts of foot followers, hunt supporters and subscribers- a really good team effort, well supported and great fun.

Our next event, was the Point to Point and Castle to Coast Ride, over the Easter week end. Preceded by an incredible two day period of rain, the Point to Point looked in doubt, but luckily it was sufficiently dry, and despite very heavy going up the back straight, which caused some interesting situations in the early races, an excellent day was had by all. Sadly, the Castle to Coast Ride goes over a lot of low lying ground and it was felt that it would do too much damage, so it had to be postponed to Early June, which was disappointing as we are trying to establish this Easter date in the calendar, and it works well with holidays- riding off Easter Day excesses and the chance to enjoy some wonderful countryside.

The week after Midsummer's Night Victoria Bell ran a wonderful Hunt Ball, great music, wonderful location overlooking the Coast, courtesy of Stuart and Wendy Hyslop, delicious food, organised by Victoria and cooked by our wonderful team of supporters ....finally some embarrassing dancing-but who cares- certainly not anyone that was there!

Robert, Giles and Zoe, have all been very busy, creosoting and repainting the Kennels as part of the year's maintenance programme, but also so the Kennels look smart for the Puppy Judging on the 31st July - effectively the Hunt Open Day. Please pay particular attention to the beautiful job that Giles and his Dad have done repairing the concrete yard outside the Hound Lodges - work of art!

Before the Puppy Judging, which starts at 3pm, we will have a team clay pigeon shoot, kindly organised by Gary Whitfield, The Duke's Head Keeper, at the Priory. After the Puppy Judging Prize Giving, there will be a BarBecue, by the river, all welcome.

Our Next Event after the Puppy Judging, on 27th August, will be a Terrier and Dog Racing Evening, with Dog Show (kindly organised by Sheila Luck) at Fallodon Hall, very generously hosted by Mark Bridgeman, with a Hog Roast to round off the evening.

During the year there have been one or two changes. Toni McCarthy, Robert's mother, has very kindly agreed to take on the running of the Website and Newsletter as well as the Fallen stock billing (a thankless task). Sheila Luck, on top of running the Dog Show, has also kindly agreed to help with the Hunt Shop. We hope to have a page on the website that will cover the wonderful array of fleeces, woolly hats, waistcoats, baseball caps etc as well as Cards, Calendars and Hunt Prints that will be available from the Hunt shop, which we will try to get to all events like the Puppy Judging. Help of this nature is vital to the functioning of the Hunt, and is much appreciated. Indeed all events that the Hunt runs depend completely on volunteers for their success as well as your support, so I would also like to thank all those who have generously supported our events, either by helping, but also by attending, it is very much a self help community. It is also the level of support of these events that raises money that will allow us to keep our subscriptions down and hopefully within the grasp of everyone wanting to participate in the Hunt.

Finally, Lets hope that the summer is kind to our farmers for their harvest, and we aim to start Autumn Hunting in mid September - and whilst the snow was pretty for a few days last year, I think we all had enough last year to do without it disrupting the season this year.

Have a good Summer and see you all out hunting in the coming Season.