Master celebrates 30 years of hunting
A huntsman celebrated 30 years of hunting at the opening meet of the East Cornwall Hunt.
Graham Higgins joined fellow hunters at Minions, near Liskeard, for the milestone celebration on Saturday.
Mr Higgins, from St Neot, where the hounds are kennelled and who is a Joint Master of the hunt, was first huntsman of the former Bolventor Harriers, and has been huntsman of the East Cornwall Hunt since it amalgamated with the harriers in 1997. He was aged just two at his first appointment.
He was greeted at the meet, on the common in front of the Cheesewring Hotel, by a large gathering of foot followers and more than 60 mounted followers for the first full day's hunting of the season. Being a moorland pack, the hunt's opening meet is a fortnight earlier than other hunts, a legacy from the time when the main grain harvest was later in the year.
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Paying tribute to Mr Higgins' achievement, the hunt chairman, Francis Martin, said not many huntsmen had been in office for as long as 30 years.
"We must thank him for all the fun and support he has given us throughout the years," he said.
Mr Higgins was presented with a bottle of malt Scotch whisky to mark his 30th opening meet, and his wife Lynsey, who is one of his three whippers-in, with a pot plant.