Crowds gathered for one of the most spectacular sights on the Great Yorkshire Showground as the competitions drew to a close yesterday.
Hunt leaders from across the nation led dozens of hounds into the main ring for the characteristically country parade of hounds.
And as the excited hounds were let loose in the main ring, the smiling and expectant crowd turned to laughter as some of the more adventurous animals escaped into cordoned-off sets ready for the afternoon’s showjumping.
There were gasps and then laughter from the watching crowds as first one daredevil hound, then more, escaped into the jumping pits before being set back on course by smiling stewards.
“This shows so much of what is good about the countryside,” said commentator Mike Tucker as he spoke of the history of the various hunts to crowds enjoying the sunshine around the main ring.
“It’s a great rural tradition. And these days, this sight would not be possible without the generosity and support of farmers and landowners.”
Mr Tucker, detailing the origins and traditions of each of the hunts, spoke of the need to preserve this part of the country’s ancient and traditional rural heritage.
“This needs to be a sight to be seen by many generations to come,” he said.
“It’s the conservation of our rural heritage.
“This is the sight which has helped Britain become one of the best equestrian countries in the world.
“Whatever is happening through the show season, the hunting community provide a wonderful atmosphere in the countryside.
“Long may it continue.”