Huge crowds gather for traditional Boxing Day Hunt
- Credit: Archant
Huge crowds gathered in Bungay for the traditional Boxing Day Hunt.
A crowd of over 2,000 gathered in the town centre for the annual Waveney Harriers meet.
About 35 riders rode from Mettingham to gather in Earsham Street, and were greeted by spontaneous cheers and applause from spectators who lined the streets.
The riders chatted to members of the public, who were able to see the horses and hounds up close.
Former honorary secretary of the Waveney Harriers Tizzy Craggs said the crowds seem to get bigger each year.
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She added: “The support from the town is always hugely encouraging. It’s part of English heritage and it’s a tradition they don’t want to see go.
“In a fast changing world it’s something that’s not changing.”
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A small group of anti-hunt protesters staged a peaceful demonstration at the event, holding up placards including one with the slogan “Waveney Harriers Must Stop Hunting.”
One spectator, who was in the town to visit family, said she did not agree with the spectacle.
She added: “I don’t agree with it to be honest, I think the horses look a bit scared.”
However, the vast majority of those gathered enjoyed seeing the hunt and some were very strong supporters of hunting.
One man who turned out every year to watch the hunt parade through the town said he just liked the tradition of it.
He added: “I think it should be allowed to carry on, it’s been going on for years.”
Before the Harriers moved off, a hunting horn was sounded, which led to more applause from the crowds, and the hunt made their way back to Mettingham for a day’s trail hunting.
Since 2005 it has been illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs.
Instead, dogs can be used simulate hunting where mounted riders hunt the trail of an artificially laid scent with hounds.