THE traditional sight of horses and hounds returned to Rivington for Holcombe Hunt’s traditional Boxing Day meet.

For the last two years the “hunt”

has been snowed off but yesterday horses and hounds turned out under the leadership of master Sue Simmons.

She said: “We had a wonderful time, a great calorie cruncher.

“It was a good ride out for local riders. We were very well supported, as for the last two years it has been frozen off.”

She added: “The weather has meant it has been a good day for the hunts everywhere. The hunt is a thread of rural life which we do our best to keep going.

“I would like the act repealed but the Holcombe Hunt works within the law.”

Resplendent in their scarlet jackets, more than 60 riders saddled up for the trail hunt, which took them around Rivington.

Onlookers watched as they set off for a two-hour ride following scent trails for the hounds to follow.

The sound of the horn signalled the end of the traditional ride out.

Frank Jackson has been a member of the hunt for 30 years and has held the position of joint Master of the Hunt.

Speaking about how it had been before 2005, he said: “Trail hunting like this means the riders pick up a good gallop.

“The Holcombe Hunt does not catch many foxes or hares but have run them out of the area.” He added that hunting was about “survival of the fittest”.

Hunting live quarry with dogs was banned in 2005, after the Speaker of the House of Commons controversially invoked the Parliament Act to force the legislation through.

The Holcombe Hunt holds meets across the whole of Lancashire, but their Boxing Day gathering is traditionally held at Rivington.