by Countryside Alliance

The Old Berks Hunt has raised £500 for the Oxford Hospitals Charity following an afternoon of virtual hound racing on Easter Monday, 13th April 2020.

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Huntsman Michael Scott with Old Berks hounds

With their annual point to point - due to take place at Lockinge on Easter Monday - cancelled along with many other important fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hunt decided to hold an afternoon of racing that their members could enjoy as an alternative.

Huntsman Michael Scott, along with his family members and those who live at the hunt kennels, set up the event which was held ensuring appropriate social distancing measures were adhered to. The races were shown on their social media channels, with previews of the runners shown ahead of the races taking place.

“We held four races plus a grand final with the race times coinciding with the racing that would have been taking place at the point to point course,” explained huntsman Michael Scott. “We also held a fun race where all our hounds were let out of kennels to have a go over the course which included jumps and gates. There were approximately 53 couple of hounds taking part and they were definitely jumping for fun.”

“It’s obviously disappointing for our hunt to lose the point to point so we wanted to raise some money for hunt funds, however we also we wanted to give something back to the NHS to recognise the incredible sacrifices those on the frontline are making during these difficult times,” Michael continued.

Polly Portwin, Head of Hunting at the Countryside Alliance commended the hunt for their incredible effort: “Hunts, along with individuals, clubs and other organisations across the country will all be impacted financially by the coronavirus crisis, however the Old Berks Hunt have shown the high regard in which they hold the NHS by making this contribution out of their hunt funds

“Hunt staff and hunt supporters across the country are engaging with their local communities in a variety of ways by fundraising in this way or helping out with shopping, collecting medical supplies or engaging in other activities to assist those who are self-isolating during these times.”

The hunt will be making their donation to the Oxfords Hospitals Charity

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The course set up for racing

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