Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by Sasha Melia
The countryside community joined together on Wednesday for Lycetts Festival of Hunting 2019, which included the prestigious Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, now in its 131st year. The Young Handlers Class – new for 2019 –saw a spectacular turnout from the future of hunting. Greeted with glorious summer sunshine, crowds in their thousands gathered at the East of England Showground for the most anticipated day of the summer social calendar.
Retiring East of England Agricultural Society CEO and Secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, Jeremy Staples said: “We are incredibly proud of this year’s Lycetts Festival of Hunting. The showground was bustling throughout the day with visitors, hounds and horses all enjoying the festivities while another year of outstanding numbers demonstrate that rural traditions and countryside pursuits remain ever present in the busy modern world. It was so wonderful to see so many participants in the young handler’s class seeing the next generation coming through and ensuring a strong future for hunting. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lycetts Festival of Hunting’s great many partners and supporters who work tirelessly to bring the event together as well as our many attendees, without whom the event would not be possible.”
Both long-standing and first-time supporters spanning the generations enjoyed the celebration of this unique and long-held tradition. Georgie Fowle of Addo Events, organisers of Lycetts Festival of Hunting, said: “Once again it has been incredible to stage Lycetts Festival of Hunting, which is undoubtedly our standout event of the summer season. This year felt vibrant and full of energy, and we were particularly thrilled to welcome our youngest ever attendee, a newborn at just three days old! We are proud to continue playing our part in developing and supporting the ever-evolving festival, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, whilst remaining true to its unique heritage.”
Lycetts Festival of Hunting 2019 played host to a variety of showing classes with in-hand and ridden equine classes and qualifiers for the Horse of the Year Show in many categories, as well as the much-loved inter-hunt relay. The wonderful spectacle of hounds competing in the outdoor rings was as impressive as ever, with the attendance of Harriers, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Draghounds and Bloodhounds. The Sealeyham Terriers, West Sussex Working Teckels, Coursing Dogs, Blencathra Fellhounds and The Fitzwilliam Eagle once again provided a wonderful sight for visitors. The inaugural Young Handlers Class was held in Ring 1 with Sam Watkins of the Essex and Suffolk foxhounds winning the Captain Farquhar Cup, a banded hunting horn from Hunting UK and a copy of Kay Gardeners new book ‘Hunting On’. All budding competitors received rosettes and a voucher for a bulk bag of hound feed from Countryman’s, the class sponsor.
In celebration of the magnificent picnics hosted by hunts over lunchtime, this year saw the launch of the ‘Best Hunt Picnic’ competition, in association with Finns of Chelsea whose proprietor Julia Bannister was the judge. An abundance of entries saw the most spectacular spreads, though the hunt which captured Julia’s eye for the ‘finest overall display’ was the Fitzwilliam. Julia awarded them a Luxury Finns Hamper for their collaborative effort in producing a truly scrumptious homemade picnic. Julia also gave special recognitions to the Hurworth hunt who were presented with four placemats and coasters kindly donated by Isobel Scott.
Now in its third consecutive year, the Horn Blowing Competition commenced during the afternoon’s drinks reception hosted by title sponsor Lycetts. This year Luke Biddiscombe was the winner with some very solid entries which including a very enthusiastic youngster who took to the stage! Luke took home a much sought after hunting horn, engraved and donated by The Hunting Shop.
Lycetts returned as title sponsor, marking the fourth year of their extended five-year partnership agreement. Angus Keate, Deputy Chairman of Lycetts Insurance Brokers said: “Lycetts are proud to once again be the title sponsor of the Festival of Hunting. A highlight in our events calendar, we hope our continued support demonstrates the deep affinity we have with both the rural and hunting communities. It was fantastic to see the day go so well, providing such a brilliant showcase for the world of hunting and hounds, as well as an opportunity for all involved to renew acquaintances and have a fantastic day out. Our significant long-term commitment to this great summer occasion is a reflection of the importance we attach to providing the countryside community with the best insurance broking and financial advisory services. We offer these to a wide range of landowners, farmers, rural business people and those who live in the countryside firmly believing we are well placed to meet all their needs. We hope that those of a similar mindset, who have yet to take advantage of our exceptional services, will recognise our commitment and take the opportunity to benefit from what we offer.”
Lycetts Festival of Hunting is organised by The East of England Agricultural Society, in association with Addo Events. Next year’s event will take place on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 at the East of England Showground, Peterborough. For more information, visit: www.festivalofhunting.com