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The Percy Hounds enjoyed a very good season’s trail hunting in spite of some moderate scenting days and of course, the infamous “Beast from the East”. We trail hunted 84 days, losing only one at the point when the snowy conditions reached their peak. I think this says an awful lot about the hunt’s relationship with both farmers and landowners which I value extremely highly. We enjoyed a great Autumn’s trail hunting with mornings of note from North Lyham, Elwick, Shieldykes, Hare Cragg and Chatton Bank Top. Our opening meet was held on 4th November 2017 and a very good day followed. The Wednesday from North Lyham qualifies as one of the wettest days hunting I’ve ever had but the hounds hunted well all day regardless. We also had an excellent New Years Day from Alnwick Castle and another from Goldenmoor - somewhere we’ve not met for many years. Our young entry went very well with Gamble by Spitfire out of Gadget walked by Lisa Brown ending as best unentered dog. Linnet by Holderness Landscape out of Lightning walked by Lynn Walker finished the season as best unentered bitch. Another young dog who hunted exceptionally well was Lambourne by Holderness Landscape out of Liberty. He was walked by Stephen and Toni McCarthy. I was very pleased with all of our older hounds, but the four “P”s: Posie, Possum, Poppadom and Popcorn all hunted exceptionally well and were all walked by Aimee Straughan.

As always, this season involved a massive team effort from all at The Kennels. Phillip McCarthy did a cracking job with our horses, very ably assisted by his girlfriend Lisa Brown. Lisa is not only a brilliant help in the stables but also with the kennels and is generally a very good all round supporter. Matthew Sewell leaves us after four seasons to hunt the Hurworth who are also an Old English Pack. We wish him all the very best. We welcomed our new Whipper-in, Harry Davidson in May this year. Harry and his girlfriend, Emer Edwards have settled in well and he is doing a great job. As always, our Amateur Whipper-in, Allan Morris was a massive help both on and off the hunting field. Our full-time, unpaid Kennelman, Stephen McCarthy has continued to help with various aspects of life at The Kennels and laid the trail on each hunting day - an invaluable aspect of our daily sport. Big thanks to the rest of the team who help so much at The Kennels - Ben Lambert, Lizzie McCarthy, Toni McCarthy, Emma Howie, Mark Swearman, Morris Humphrey, Lance Green and Lynn Walker. As always, I have a lot of help in the country with thanks to Joe Vickers, Garry Whitfield, Rob Dobson, Neil Potts, Matty Matthewson, Mark Bridgeman, Mark Swearman and Robert Fife. A big thank you goes to all our Farmers, Landowners, Shepherds and Gamekeepers for their continued support.

We have already shown at three major hound shows, gaining Reserve Champion at Blaston, Old English Champion at the Great Yorkshire Show and both Reserve Championships at The Festival of Hunting, Peterborough.

It goes without saying, that the Percy Hunt suffered a massive loss, losing Mr Bucknall on Christmas Eve. His enthusiasm for hunting was infectious and he was also one of the best Masters I have ever worked for. I do know that the one thing he would want would be for us to continue showing very high standards at kennels and showing good sport. This is what we will always strive to do here at The Percy Kennels. The puppy show is on Sunday 29th July. I look forward to seeing you all there. Good hunting.

Robert McCarthy