THE captain of the Beaufort Hunt has retired after more than a quarter of a century in the saddle.

Ian Farquhar has stepped down from the captaincy of the historic hunt following 26 seasons with the hounds.

He will stay on as joint master, alongside the Duke of Beaufort.

During a celebration of his length of service, he was presented with a painting by Neil Forster of the Beaufort Five, the five consecutive Peterborough Hound Show dog champions – a feat the outgoing captain oversaw whilst at the helm.

Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the hunt, said: "This was followed by an absolutely storming day and then a tea in the village hall at Badminton.

"Here, guests from far and wide were entertained by the captain’s daughters and their Meade cousins led by singer Rose Farquhar to a rendition of the tune by Abba of Thank you for the Music, entitled Thank you for the Hunting."