Sunday 17th December - 12 noon
Firle Place, Firle, BN8 6LP
by kind invitation of the Rt Hon Viscount H N Gage
Parking is in the lane outside the park gates. Make sure you do not block the road to other road users and don't park on the grass directly outside the gates. It is a lawn meet so please be correctly turned out and plaited. It takes about 10 minutes to hack up to the house to arrive on time. It is also colder on the downs so put the extra layer on!
Unless otherwise indicated:
Single day cap adults - £45. Single day cap for under 21 - £25.
Please bring a signed disclaimer form (below) if you have not already completed one this season:
To order Hunt Merchandise text Lisa on 07940071349
or buy them from Lisa Baker at the next hunt.
Miss Jorrocks Reports
from Rickney & Larkins
Miss Jorrocks has had a busy few days. On Wednesday 29th November, hounds met at Rickney Farm – the guests of Master Clare and her husband Robbie Miles who, these days, runs for us from time to time. It was a cold day as in “in the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan” cold. So much so that Miss Jorrocks questioned the wisdom of leaving the sofa in her lovely warm, little house. So cold, in fact, that Miss Jorrocks, Mrs Baker, Mrs Kay, Andy Keep, and host of others sat resolutely in their vehicles with the horses still loaded until the last possible second. So cold, in fact, that Miss Jorrocks eschewed proper long hunting boots in favour of synthetic, rubber boots and extra socks.
We crawled miserably onto our mounts and huddled together in the lane, sinking deeper into our coats, and keeping a sharp eye on Master Clare who was dispensing hot (oh lovely hot) mulled wine and savouries in the form of chicken nuggets and roast potatoes. Suitably warmed the day took on a brighter note. Parish notices, to the select company of a total of 24, were brief and soon we were off, trotting and cantering to get ourselves and the horses warm.
The first hunt set off across the marsh, taking in an array of timber and hedges. Not that Miss Jorrocks saw much as she discovered, at the first fence, that her jumping bean was in her leather boots so she and her mare ground to a halt and stood there helplessly as the field sped away. Undaunted, and with the help, of a few gate openers they made it to the end of the hunt suitably mortified by a stop at a small rail. The second and third hunts were moderately better although Miss Jorrocks trailed along at the back woe begotten and anxious, and lamenting her absent bean.
The fourth hunt took in both land owned by Miss Caroline Richardson, one of our founder members, and more marsh. Master Clare furnished Miss Jorrocks with emergency escape instructions, so she could get home and Miss Jorrocks tucked in dolefully at the back, wondering if she would be able to coax her now reluctant and sulky mare to jump the easy boundaries. To start with it didn’t go well and Miss Jorrocks found herself marooned in one of Caroline’s fields where she decided she would probably end her days despite being visible from the road and not that far from the helping hands of the ever-friendly Nigel Goddard who was coming to rescue her by opening a gate.
Just as all hope was abandoned along came the lovely Jay Passey bleeding profusely from his lip and nose due, it transpired, to an altercation with a hedge. “We can’t stay here, babe”, said Jay, “I might bleed to death – tuck in and come with me”. So, Miss Jorrocks did, and to her surprise her mare pinged over and took off in Jay’s wake. Soon they caught up with Sam Field and took on more boundaries. Sadly, on this occasion Sam’s horse had lost its jumping bean and nothing on earth would persuade it over a sizeable rail beside which the gate was locked. A bleeding Jay and a forlorn Miss Jorrocks stood on one side of the rail, and Sam stood on the other. As in the best heroic films Sam announced that she would remain and accept her fate in order for Jay and Miss Jorrocks to survive. We waved her a fond farewell and assured her we would tell them all of her sacrifice. And so, as if on an iceberg, Sam drifted off towards the road and Jay and Miss Jorrocks set off to jump home.
Fortunately, thanks to modern telecommunications Sam was rescued - although a lorry and a key had to be despatched to assist her and she was very cold. Jay went home at once although his very dramatic injury turned out, thankfully, to be only a minor cut to his lip. Miss Jorrocks, who despite being a lady of a certain age and of a nervous disposition, is a tough old boot, loaded up her horse and went in to Tea in Clare and Robbie’s lovely farmhouse to hear tales from the bits of the day she had missed.
On Sunday, 3rd December, hounds met at Chiddingstone, one of Miss Jorrocks local meets.
This is a jumping day and was viewed with great trepidation by Miss Jorrocks after her trials and tribulations on the previous Wednesday. As she was fed “jumping juice” by a dismounted Mrs Baker she was counselled by Mrs Carol Kay “you’ve get to angry, Miss Jorrocks. You have to be angry with those fences”. Miss Jorrocks took a big gulp of Whisky Mac and tried staring down a nearby hedge. It sort of worked as the day did progress quite well.
The first hunt, behind 11 couple of hounds, was a bit of a mad dash as a sizeable field sorted itself into order. Miss Jorrocks, having spied some empty saddles, nipped out on to the lane and took a few other careful souls with her for a short cut.
The second hunt took in Mr Stephen Gribble’s Becketts Farm, with its famous hedges, which are entirely unsuitable for ladies of a certain age and of a nervous disposition and are best enjoyed when observed from a safe distance.
The third hunt, was a short gallop with some timber finishing up near Chiddingstone Castle. Here, as we paused to let the Quarry move on and to rest the hounds and horses, Miss Jorrocks spied two young families out for a Sunday afternoon ramble. Undaunted she herded them up and insisted they should meet the Masters, the Huntsman, and hounds. They ventured nervously in front her as she shooed them along with her mare, made all the necessary greetings, and then anxiously sidled away carefully putting Master Sally between themselves and an ardent and grinning Miss Jorrocks. “It so important people see we are friendly”, Miss Jorrocks informed a sceptical Master Sally as Miss Jorrocks’ victims scuttled off.
The fourth hunt took in Lockskinners and many of its cross-country fences. Miss Jorrocks jumping bean was on fire and her mare made short and eager work of everything in their path underlining, as she has done many times in the past, that matters go much better if Miss Jorrocks refrains from “doing riding”.
Back at the boxes Miss Jorrocks was dismayed to discover her car had a tyre as flat as a pancake and went in to a tail spin of despair. She was rescued by a lovely couple who made it all better for her in a trice. The gentleman, who Miss Jorrocks remembers as Dave, did the Blue jobs and such manly things as applying the tyre weld and supervising the compressor. His wife did the Pink jobs by reading the step by step instructions to him. Absent her spectacles and in the gathering dusk Miss Jorrocks was a lost soul and exceptionally grateful for their help and reassurance.
Anxious to be off, Miss Jorrocks missed Tea, and drove home stopping every few miles to check the tyre was holding up. It was.
See you soon.
The Coakham Bloodhounds are one of the oldest Bloodhound packs in the UK, and they hunt over a wide area in Kent and Sussex. They hunt "the cleanboot" (ie the unadulterated human scent left by a man or woman running ahead of the pack). Hunting with a pack of bloodhounds is one of the least artificial method of hunting organised quarry, and, whereas a fox will run freely, a human quarry can make more effective use of the increasingly urbanised countryside. The hounds hunt by scent alone, unlike many other breeds of hounds that hunt by sight.
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