Traditional Boxing Day attracts thousands to see hunts go off

Thousands of people turned out to take part in and cheer on traditional Boxing Day hunts.

The Albrighton Hunt was tinged with sadness after Huntsman Ray Shaw’s death.

Mr Shaw, who was in his mid-40s and had been employed by the Albrighton Hunt for two-and-a-half years, was responsible for getting the hounds and horses ready for hunt meetings.

He was found dead at his home in Kennels Lane, Albrighton, earlier this month.

The hunt met at The Royal Victoria Hotel, Newport, Shropshire, and brought about 3,000 onlookers who saw more than 50 riders take part.

Hunt secretary Julian Hill said that collection was held at the Boxing Day hunt for both Cancer Research and Mr Shaw’s family and added: “Ray was on all our minds on Boxing Day.”

It emerged today that the Tory party has backed down on a manifesto pledge to hold a vote on whether or not to overturn the ban on hunting foxes with dogs.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson indicated that there were no immediate plans to bring the issue back to Parliament and the Tory party chairman Grant Shapps has defended the decision saying that it did not make sense to hold the vote when the majority of MPs were known to be in favour of keeping the ban.

Other hunts taking place in the region yesterday included the Albrighton Woodland Hunt, which started at Hagley Park, near Stourbridge, and the North Shropshire Hunt which met at the Albrighton Hall Hotel, near Shrewsbury.

Related articles

In pictures - The Albrighton Woodland Hunt at Hagley Hall

In pictures - The North Shropshire Hunt