Belvoir Hunt will gather in Grantham for traditional Boxing Day meet

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Hounds, riders and their horses will gather once again on Boxing Day for the annual traditional Belvoir Hunt meet despite opposition from a small group of protesters.

The gathering in front of the Guildhall, on St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, usually attracts a large crowd keen to see the spectacle of the Duke of Rutland’s hounds and the many riders on horseback.

Grantham Mayor Coun Mike Cook will welcome the riders.

He said: “On Tuesday I met with a spokesperson from League Against Cruel Sports, (a UK animal charity which defends animals against persecution in the name of sport), to discuss the Belvoir Hunt on Boxing Day.

“We agreed to disagree but we would both like to put out a notice to those supporters of both sides of the issue.

“We expect them to demonstrate peacefully with respect for each others point of views. I as mayor, enjoy the spectacle and support the tradition but it is also important that all parties must behave correctly. Let’s hope it can happen peacefully so we can enjoy it again in 2018.”

Director of Campaigns for the League Against Cruel Sports, Chris Luffingham, said: “People going out to watch a hunt parade this Boxing Day are probably unaware that despite the hunting ban, wildlife is still being targeted under the guise of ‘trail hunting’.

“We’re calling for strengthening to the existing legislation, to put an end to the unnecessary suffering being inflicted on foxes, hare and deer.”

The riders will gather in St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, at 10.30am and will leave at 11.15am after being served sherry and mince pies.