Once again we had another old fashioned winter. Despite one of the hardest winters for many years the Percy hounds only missed two days due to the very deep snow. The hounds still managed to be out ninety one days in the Season.

The snow came down on 25 November so we went on foot until we stole one day back on horses on 15 December at Freddie Telford’s Pasture Hill. The snow then came back with vengeance the next day so back on foot again until 12 January when we finally got back on horses.

Despite the weather I was very pleased with the way the hounds trail hunted and many good days were had.

Of the young entry Gaelic walked by Mr and Mrs Stephen McCarthy and Garnish walked by Mrs Lynn Walker both trail hunted very well. Of the dog hounds Portman walked by the Chrisp Family and Pollock walked by Mrs Annette Hewitt also hunted very well. Portman was out all ninety one days and ended up Best Working Dog Hound. Gaelic just had the edge over Garnish and ended up Best Working Bitch.

As always it was a massive team effort at the kennels, the bad weather making the work even harder. Despite the severe weather we did manage to keep the fallen stock round up and running. Once again Zoe did an excellent job with the horses and as soon as the weather relented the horses were ready to go.

I can’t speak highly enough of Giles Bennett whose hard work and professionalism stayed at the same high standard for the four seasons he was with the Percy. Giles leaves us this year to further his career as Kennel Huntsman to the Sinnington, all of us at the kennels wish him the very best.

James Walker again did a very good job laying the trail for us every day. He is also a good help in the kennels and a big help with the fallen stock collection. Alan Morris is also a big help on and off the hunting field, a big thank you to him. Stephen McCarthy is also a big help in kennels with the fallen stock and out in the country. Ali Grey once again supplied us with all the oat straw for the hounds bedding that keeps the hounds coats in such good condition so thanks to him. Thanks must also go to our Master, Mr Michael Hutchinson MFH who supplied all the hay and straw for the hunt horses. Thank you also to Sandy Williamson for his help in the kennels on show days and in the winter.

Robert Truscott has joined us as 1st Whipper In this year, Robert has always hunted, mainly with the Holderness. On leaving school he went straight into hunt service as 2nd Whipper In to the Badsworth and Braham Moor. He is to be presented with his Bursary Certificate at the forthcoming Yorkshire Show. He has settled in well learning all our hounds names in ten days!! He is very much looking forward to the coming Season.

Finally I would like to thank all of our farmers, land owners, keepers and shepherds especially during such a difficult winter without whose continued support our hounds would not leave the kennels.

I am very much looking forward to the coming Season.

Robert McCarthy