Saturday 19th January, Hundred Acre Farm, Sopworth.
Captain Ian Farquhar joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, nearly 25 years ago came up with the idea of a special annual meet to raise funds for charities both local and national. Thanks to the amazing and generous hospitality of hosts, local farmers the Milsom family, over the years it is estimated a total of nearly £60,000 has been raised.
This year was no exception and in 30 minutes with buckets rattling an amazing total of £2026 was raised to help support Richard Preest, head gardener on the Badminton Estate for almost 30 years. Richard was taken ill mid July 2018 having suffered a rare and life changing spinal stroke, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak and on a ventilator for weeks in Bath RUH. He is currently at Salisbury's Odstock Spinal Unit and preparing to return home soon.
Richard is also a nationally recognised breeder, trainer and handler of working cocker spaniels, with impressive and successful lines (winner of 2016 Cocker Spaniel Championships' ) and his Kennel Club prefix is named after his local covert, 'Centrewalk'. The money raised will be used to purchase any specialist equipment he may need, and also to help fund any physiotherapy when he is home.
Georgina Preest, Richard's daughter said `This is a great support to the family in what's been a difficult time. My father knows he has a long way to go and some struggles ahead but would like to thank everyone from the bottom of his heart.`
New Year`s Day saw a huge crowd of Beaufort Hunt supporters gather at The Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury where a £1000 cheque was presented to Mr Julian Benton who accepted it on behalf of Tetbury Hospital.
The money was raised from the proceeds of the recent Hunt Ball and Silent Auction and a hunt spokesperson said `Many Beaufort people are lucky enough to enjoy the wonderful care offered by this marvellous little local hospital it was good to be able to give something back.`
`The Beaufort hounds seem to mark the start of Christmas` said one bystander as the Hunt gathered for their annual meet in Chipping Sodbury High Street. A big crowd of supporters, locals and shoppers gathered to say hello and enjoy the hospitality from Simpsons solicitors with a nip of port and a sausage roll. A big cheer went up when Beaufort Hunt joint master Matt Ramsden thanked the crowd for their support and wished everyone a Happy Christmas.
A cheque for £2,000 from The Badminton Ride 2018 was presented to the Royal British Legion`s Gloucestershire County Chairman, Brian Hewitt on Saturday 1st December by the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance received a £1000 boost to their funds on Saturday from the Beaufort Hunt. The Marquess of Worcester presented the cheque to Air Ambulance volunteers Anne Hooper and Douglas Looman.
The donation came from the proceeds of the popular Hunt Supporters Club Horse Show held every August on the Badminton Estate. A spokesperson for the hunt said ` all of us are grateful for the wonderful work done by the Air Ambulance particularly in rural areas where speed is of the essence following accidents or illness.
The Beaufort Hunt like many hunts across the country today paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the both World Wars and in other subsequent conflicts by holding a minutes silence at their meet in Littleton Drew on the 10th November.
Many of those attending had time to reflect and remember the loss of family members and friends who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Duke of Beaufort`s Hunt sent two teams to the Inter Hunt Relay at the Festival of Hunting at Peterborough this week.
A Senior Team of James Hopkins, Brooke Gardener-Wollen, Steph Hunter and Sara Cloke and a Junior Team of Rosie Bush,
Anna Dando, Belle Edwards and Willa Gravell.
The Festival of Hunting is one of the highlights of the Relay Competition Season and something that the teams have been
working and practising towards with the help of Team Manager Nicky Bush and our Kennel Huntsman’s wife Chef d’equip Selina Hopkins.
Each team competed against around 30 teams from hunts across the UK, with fierce and fast qualifying rounds!
The Senior team qualified for the knockout rounds but unfortunately after a good second round they were pipped to the post by
three seconds and knocked out.
Congratulations to our Junior team on some fast and furious rounds. Four incredible qualifying rounds against competitors up to 21years old
(our youngest member is 12years old!) sent them through to the semi-finals where the Hunt masters and Hunt staff came to cheer them
on following their success with the hounds. In a hugely exciting tightly fought final rounds in the main arena The Duke of Beaufort`s
Cubs were ultimately 4th. Huge congratulations!
Photo shows the Junior Team, left to right of Belle Edwards, Willa Gravell, KH Nick Hopkins, Anna Dando and Rosie Bush