Crowds gather for Derwent Hunt's New Year's Day ride out in Thornton-le-Dale

Gazette & Herald: Members of the Dewent Hounds, led by Master of the Hunt Sean McClarron, meet at the Old Hall Lodge, Thornton-le-Dale before setting off on the  traditional New Year’s Day ride Members of the Dewent Hounds, led by Master of the Hunt Sean McClarron, meet at the Old Hall Lodge, Thornton-le-Dale before setting off on the traditional New Year’s Day ride

RIDERS and their hounds embarked on a New Year’s Day tradition stretching back more than 200 years as crowds gathered to watch an annual North Yorkshire hunt ride out.

About 50 members of the Derwent Hunt were set on their way across the Ryedale countryside from outside The Hall in Thornton-le-Dale yesterday morning.

Master of the Hunt Sean McClarron said he was “delighted” with the support they received.

Although fox hunting is now banned, Mr McClarron defended the tradition.

He said: “It was never about killing for fun, it was a balanced method of wildlife management.

“I can appreciate it is difficult for anybody without any first-hand experience of hunting to understand what we do and why, but we welcome them to see it for themselves.”

Mr McClarron said those involved in the Derwent Hunt had “a true passion for hound and horse, the countryside and the local rural community”.

The pack was founded in 1808 by Richard Johnson Hill, who kennelled the hounds at The Hall. It was then his home but later became a pub and hotel as well as a care home, leading the hunt to make it their traditional meeting-point.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree