Crowds turn out in Duns for new year’s hunt

Master of the hunt Ryan Mania.
Master of the hunt Ryan Mania.

The historic Berwickshire Hunt held its traditional New Year meet in Duns on Monday.

A day later than tradition usually dictates, due to New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday, the hunt filled Market Square where more than 60 mounted supporters were joined by a further good number on foot to see them off.

Riders Kelly Aitchison and Gina Walker.

Riders Kelly Aitchison and Gina Walker.

From horseback huntsman Richard Swan thanked everyone for turning out and gave mention of the expected difficulties facing the hunt this year following Lord Bonomy’s recent review. The hunt, the oldest in Scotland, was led by master huntsman and former Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania from Galashiels. He was alby assisted by Mr Swan and his fellow huntsmen Colin Aitchison, Louise Aitken Walker and Mike Ardnott. Riders enjoyed a Stirrup Cup and refreshments from the White Swan pub before the hunt around the Manderston House area.

Mr Mania hung up his saddle and retired from racing in November 2014 after which he joined the Braes of Derwent Hunt in Durham before taking up the post with the Berwickshire Hunt last year.

Among the riders on Monday was Lord-Lieutanant of Berwickshire Jeanna Swan.

Rachael Gray with Eilidh, Alexander and Louise Kerr.

Rachael Gray with Eilidh, Alexander and Louise Kerr.

William Hendry Jnr with mum Emma and dad William.

William Hendry Jnr with mum Emma and dad William.

Hunt master Ryan Mania with Annie Galbraith.

Hunt master Ryan Mania with Annie Galbraith.

Max and Laura Cacciamani from Duns enjoy the spectacle.

Max and Laura Cacciamani from Duns enjoy the spectacle.

Nicky Horn and Clare Stewart at Duns for the hunt meeting.

Nicky Horn and Clare Stewart at Duns for the hunt meeting.