THOUSANDS of supporters attended the Duke of Beaufort Hounds’ Boxing Day meet in Didmarton.

The hunt met on Friday, December 26 at Worcester Lodge at 10.45am attracting crowds of people to the annual event.

Capt Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt in Gloucestershire said: "As is usual, 3,000 to 4,000 supporters, from every walk of life in this locality, welcomed the Beaufort hounds to Worcester Lodge, Didmarton today.

“Their support underpins the colossal backing from the public that we have received throughout since the ban was brought in nearly ten years ago, a ban based on prejudice and ignorance with no thought given to the freedom of the individual."

Hunts across England and Wales welcomed at least a quarter of a million supporters this year, on foot and on horseback, to their Boxing Day meets.

Spokesperson for the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, Jo Aldridge, said: “The Boxing Day meet at the Beaufort is always well supported, often with crowds of supporters approaching 5,000 but this year`s huge crowds amazed us all.

"We must have had in excess of 7,000 supporters on foot and 208 on horses, everyone was coming to me to tell me how the numbers were the biggest they had seen. It is 10 years since the ban and there is an election brewing, people are defiant and determined to see a change in this ridiculous law."

The hunt's next meet is a special children's meet, on Tuesday, December 30 at Chavenage.