PICTURE SPECIAL: Jed Forest 'Boxing Day' Hunt goes ahead in Denholm

Countryside tradition was maintained in Denholm this week when the annual ‘Boxing Day’ Jed Forest Hunt was staged.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 10:52 am
Hunt Masters at the start of the Denholm Hunt. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Hunt Masters at the start of the Denholm Hunt. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The festive event this year attracted around 30 riders from across the region. The spectacle is seen as an opportunity for the hunt to thank all those farmers and landowners over whose land it rides and subscribers and members of the public who have followed it throughout the year.

Fox hunting in Scotland was banned in 2002, but exceptions remain in place that allow the use of hounds to ‘flush’ foxes into the open. This week the Green Party renewed its call for a complete ban on fox hunting, saying it was a view shared by the majority of the public.

But supporters of the Jed Forest Hunt say it “provides an efficient and discriminant form of fox control for farmers and gamekeepers, using a combination of scenting hounds and guns”, adding: “Followers can be found enjoying the craft of working hounds being determined by the habits of a wild animal by pursuing on horse or foot.”

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Oxnam's Kevin Liddle poses for the camera. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Given the diversity of opinion the event attracts – and the downright anger in some quarters – proceedings are more low key these days.

Hunt secretary Tracy Crawford said villagers made them welcome on the day – staged this year on Monday as Boxing Day fell on a Sunday. Tracy, from Denholm, added: “It was a good turn-out on the day. We don’t like to pulicize it too much, obviously, because there is so much going on with the hunt-sabs at the moment that we try to keep it quite low key. It is keeping tradition going because it has always been that we have the meet on Boxing Day at Denholm. It has been held since I was a child and I’m 45 now. It has been going on the green for a long time. We always meet there and then go on the hunt. This year we had about 30 riders who are all subscribers to the Jed Hunt, they all live in the area. Everybody made us really welcome in the village.”

The Jed Forest Hunt is staging a fundraising quiz night today, Thursday, December 30, from 7pm at Bonchester Village Hall, with tickets £10 for a team of four. “Bring your friends and families for some light-hearted entertainment,” a spokesperson said.

Tracy and Robyn Crawford. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Trevor Adams M.F.H. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Elsa, James and Celia Scott from Ancrum with Angus Adams. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Angus Adams receiving a stirrup cup on Denholm Green. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Sally and Adam on Denholm Green. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Lisa Nichol and Ben McNabb get up close to the hounds. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Huntsman Gavin Scott. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Hunt Masters, Trevor Adams and Neil Keery. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Family event with Michael, Kirsteen and Erin Davidson, with Jorgie Robertson. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Kevin Liddle from Oxnam with Lesley Douglas from Langlee stables, Jedburgh. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Teegan Grant and Charlie Lauder with Andrew Douglas. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Quad bikers, Stuart, Paul, Young Callum, Michael, Sandy and Jed and Kevin Liddle mounted. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Jude, Scott and Amelie Irvine with Jodie Smith at Denholm's Jed Forest Hunt. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
The Redihough family from Spittal on rule, Harry, Mum Katie, David and Chloe. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Harry and Chloe Reddihough. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Brown family, Tilly, age 4, Mum Kirtsy and Lottie, age 1. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Brown family, Aoife, Ronan, Tilly, Kirsty and Lottie at the Jed Forest Denholm Hunt meet. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Huntsman Gavin Scott allows spectators to get close to the hounds. (Pic: BILL MCBURNIE)
Joint Master James Scott addresses the Hunt group at Denholm before leaving the green. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Huntsman Gavin Scott leads the Hunt through Denholm Main Street. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Hunt stalwarts, Billy Spence from Jedburgh and Tracy Crawford, Hon. Secretary from Denholm. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Lesley Douglas, Owner at Langlee Stables, Jedburgh, impeccably turned out for the Jed Forest Denholm Hunt. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Harry and Katie Redihough from Spittal on Rule participating in the Jed Forest Denholm Hunt. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)
Laura, Chris and Izzy Graham. (Pic: BILL McBURNIE)