Despite this winter being one of the mildest and driest for many years, the Percy Hounds enjoyed one of their best seasons for a while. We began Autumn Trail Hunting early in September from North Lyham with a very good morning and many more to follow. Mornings of note were from The Old School House, Fleetham, Shieldykes, Chatton Bank Top and South Lyham.

The young entry all hunted very well. Spender (Gamble ‘10 out of Speedwell ‘08), walked by Allan Morris and Aragon (Spitfire ‘08 out of Article ‘07), walked by Miss Lisa Brown both trail hunted very well with Spender just coming out on top. Of the young bitches, Popcorn and Popadom (Gamble ‘10 out of ‘Posie 13), walked by Aimée Straughan both hunted very well but Popadom hardly missed a day all season, making her our best working bitch.

I was very pleased with all of the entered hounds. Alaska (Holderness Albion ‘07 out of Pocket ‘06), walked by Allan Morris, is still not showing her years and hunted exceptionally well all season as did the very low-scenting Lifter (Spitfire ‘08 out of Linnet ‘08), walked by Mr and Mrs S McCarthy, whose drive helped no end on many of the warm, dry days.

Unfortunately we lost a few of our old favourites this year with old age catching up with them. Spitfire, who needs no introduction was an exceptional dog in his work and won every Championship he was ever entered into. He did a lot of good towards promoting the reputation of the Old English hound, leaving a large brood of excellent pups. Spitfire was a very well-bred dog, having Limerick Tenor ‘97, Waterford Gladstone ‘92, Limerick Python ‘93 and Brocklesby Speaker ‘91 all within his Pedigree.

We also lost Woolem who hated people and showing but was one of the very best hounds I have ever hunted. His voice and drive were brilliant and he made many a hunt. He left some very nice pups who hunt like him and was also very well-bred having Brocklesby Cockspur ‘97, Belvoir Poacher ‘98, Duhallow Claymore ‘94 and Limerick Pecker ‘86 all in his Pedigree.

We had our opening meet at Chatton Fish Ponds on Saturday 29th October 2016 with thanks to the Brown Family for another brilliant meet and an excellent day to follow. We hunted 84 days in total during the Season with many good days. The best day of the Season has to have been the Wednesday from North Lyham where we had a trail hunt of twelve miles with only two checks. We had one day on foot due to hard frost and lost only one day due to all three members of the hunt staff being hit by the dreaded flu! Our last day of the season was as always a very big and generous Meet with big thanks to Malcolm Smith and his family. Hounds left the Meet at 11am and returned to the wagon at 5.45pm, although I am told that some people hadn’t left the Meet until 12.30pm!

As always, this Season was a massive team effort at Kennels. Phillip McCarthy, once again did a cracking job with the horses, keeping them sound and looking immaculate all season with help from his partner, Lisa Brown who did a tremendous job. Lisa has also done a lot with our hound pups which has been much appreciated. I’d also like to thank Emily Young for her great work looking after the horses on every Sunday throughout the Season. Matthew Sewell, our Whipper-In also did a cracking job both out hunting and at home where he puts in a huge amount of hours which is a huge help. Allan Morris, our Amateur Whipper-In has also not only been a great help out hunting but also in the Kennels. Our unpaid Kennelman, Stephen McCarthy has again helped invaluable amounts with various aspects of life at the kennels along with laying the trail on each day’s hunting which is now such an important feature of our sport. Big thanks also go to the rest of the team who help so much at the Kennels; Ben Lambert, Aimée Straughan, Christopher Newland, Reagan Turnbull, Lynn Walker, Lizzie McCarthy, Ali Grey and Emma Howie. As always, I had a lot of help in the country. Many thanks to Joe Vickers, Rob Dobson, Neil Potts, Mattie Matheson, Mark Bridgeman, Mark Swearman, Michael Hutchinson and Gary Whitfield. Also thanks to Toni McCarthy who helps with the ever-increasing paperwork at the Kennels in addition to the Fallen Stock paperwork and she also runs our Hunt Website. As always a big thank you goes to all of our Masters, farmers, land owners, gamekeepers and shepherds for their continued support of the Percy Hunt. Thanks also to Morris Humphries who has completely serviced the hunt quad bike and is now onto servicing the hunt fork lift, so very much appreciated.

We will once again be showing the hounds at four of the bigger shows this year including Blaston, Yorkshire, Peterborough and Lowther and also four small shows including the Roman Wall, Percy Hound Show, Falstone and Bellingham. All of the hounds to be shown this year have not been shown before. Our Puppy Show is on Saturday 29th July 2017 and I will look forward to seeing you all there.

Good hunting,

Robert McCarthy