A RECORD number of riders attended each of Vale of Lune Harriers' hunt meets over the festive period as both events proved a great success.

More than 65 riders gathered at the Longlands Hotel, Tewitfield, for the Boxing Day meet, while a field of 50 assembled at Hornby Castle for the New Years' Day meet.

Karen Kenyon, joint master of the Vale of Lune Harriers, described the Boxing Day meet, which was watched by a record crowd of more than 1,000 spectators, as a “truly spectacular day from start to finish.”

"It is testament to the hunting community that so many spectators always turn up to show support for the Vale of Lune year after year,” she said, adding that she was delighted so many members of the public had come out in such huge numbers to watch.

The hunt, which followed an artificial trail, was out for around three hours and 40 minutes, and Mrs Kenyon thanked the landowners and farmers who had given permission for it to cross their land and enable the event to go ahead.

"We would not be able to do what we do without the landowners and the farmers," she explained.

"Without them and the spectators we would not be able to enjoy such wonderful days like these."

The New Years' Day hunt also saw big crowds in the grounds of Hornby Castle and the nearby village high street as the mounted field were treated to tremendous hospitality before leaving to hunt an artificial trail across Hornby, Wray and Tunstall before arriving back at dusk.