'Great loss' if countryside tradition ever came to an end...
Following the huge gathering for the meet in Holsworthy Square on Boxing Day another big crowd turned up at the Tree Inn, Stratton, for the Tetcott Hunt's New Year's Day meet.
Almost 300 people packed together on the road and pavements with children perched on parents' shoulders to gain a better view of the magnificent spectacle.
Under welcoming blues skies they came with cameras clicking to witness a tradition stretching back over hundreds of years and right in front of what was once a traditional coaching inn.
A hunt spokesman said: "It was most encouraging to see so much support at a time when hunting is once again under the spotlight following the introduction of the Hunting Act in 2005.
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"If hunting was banned completely the sights we have seen here today would be gone forever.
"But we in the Tetcott work well within the law by trail-hunting. Before the hunt sets off a scent is laid for the hounds to follow and further trails are laid ahead of the hounds during the day."
Bob and Emma Semple, licensees of the Tree Inn, generously provided the traditional stirrup cup of mulled wine, along with some tasty snacks, as they have done for many years.
After the riders and hounds had set off to rapturous applause Emma took time out from pulling pints to clean up after the horses.
She said: "This is always a most enjoyable occasion; Bob and I love the spectacle which makes for a lovely morning.
"It is a really nice atmosphere bringing out lots of lovely people who get great enjoyment from this old countryside tradition.
"It would be a great loss if it ever came to an end because many of those supporting the event see it as part of the old country ways."