TEA: We ask that people bring some along to meets so we can pool and share (we supply the liquid tea and mugs!)
NEW: We are now taking advertisements on the Coakham Website - and the excellent equine vets, Milbourne Equine, are our first client! If you would like to advertise, please contact Master and Treasurer Lindsay Newitt, M 07808 170 804 for details.
First Time Out Guide We offer a wide range of meets, some with very little jumping at all, and even on the hedge days there are always ways round. The photos show us all jumping hedges because we all love those on our mantleshelves but you do not have to jump them! However, you do need a fit horse and sound brakes.
"I have to say that researching this pack is a writer’s dream. They have one of the best hunt websites that I have seen, jammed with information". Photos and pdf of the article reproduced with thanks to Horse & Hound Horse and Hound photos:- Album 1 - Album 2 - Album 3 for an animation of the last hedgeclick here
For a list of all the YouTube links up so far click here
On Sunday 24th November hounds met on the St Clere Estate, the guests of Mr and Mrs Ecclestone.
This was a new meet for the Coakham and was greeted with much excited anticipation. The day dawned grey and drizzly, threatening the promised views and Autumn colours on this lovely estate. Despite the weather Miss Jorrocks was in good spirits as she set off for the meet.
Master Paul Blagg had promised earlier in the week that the day would be very suitable for Miss Jorrocks who, as regular readers know, is a lady of a certain age and of a nervous disposition. Those earlier promises did not prevent Master Blagg from regaling Miss Jorrocks with descriptions of the timber, hedges and ditches she must jump some of which, he declared, would be so large that Miss Jorrocks would have to lean so far back that she would practically be sitting on the horse behind. Miss Jorrocks paled, took a second glass of port, and told her parking companion, Carol Kaye, her emergency instructions (keys are here, emergency numbers are on the dog). In the event the jumps were either perfectly reasonable or optional. Naughty Master Blagg frightening a lady so!
After "parish notices" a small and very competent field set off to hunt behind a mixed pack of twelve couple following three Quarry captained by Garth. Hounds were in excellent form and tore along the scent in full cry. The St Clere Estate certainly lent itself to deeply enjoyable hunting as the going was good, the headlands wide and the viewing truly excellent. Miss Jorrocks positioned herself towards the back of the field and made a judicious selection of the fences she would tackle and those she would avoid. The day had been thought out with great consideration and no time was lost in taking this option so that everyone was up together all day. A testament to good mastership and careful planning.
Three long hunts made up the day, two in the valley and one on the steep escarpment of the North Downs, where the views were, indeed, stunning. The day was not without its excitement - crossing the A21 on a road bridge had Miss Jorrocks clinging to her neckstrap and praying she would not make the news for hurtling over the balustrade and onto the traffic below - a fantasy her mare found utterly ridiculous as she picked her way across. Nevertheless Miss Jorrocks was very relieved to discover that the return crossing of the A21 would be undertaken by tunnel, which reverberated with our hoof beats such as to make us sound like a veritable cavalry of many hundreds rather than a field of perhaps just twenty.
All the horses needed a wash down at the end of the day but the mud was not so thick or clinging that the undertaking was massive and we were soon at Tea, where Master Sally had turned out a delicious carrot cake and Jane Baker's niece, Daisy, had provided some delightful cookies. Everything looked so lovely that very little remained as people said good night and drifted homeward.
Miss Jorrocks thought the day a great success and hopes it will feature on future cards.
MISS JORROCKS WRITES: REFLECTIONS ON ST HUBERTS DAY!
On Sunday 3rd November hounds met at Montague, Hankham - the guests of the Hole and Glessing families.
This beautiful farm, steeped in history and over looking ancient Pevensey, is a perfect back drop for what has become a time honoured ritual of the Coakham Bloodhounds.
A large field crammed in to every nook and crook of the yard as port and whisky mac circulated freely along with savoury nibbles. Socialising over we came to the main feature of the meet - the blessing of the hounds and the horses. Reverend Albert took to his "pulpit" and pronounced over us whilst the hounds looked on solemnly and even the horses stood still, well mostly.
Then we were off, down the hill and straight out onto the award winning grassland. How lucky we were as the ground was wet and squelchy and everywhere hoof prints abounded. We can only hope Martin, our host and custodian of the land, did not look too closely as he smiled his benign and twinkling welcome at those of us galloping about enjoying the thrill of the chase.
Our Master for the day, Clare Miles, had effected some judicious pruning and took us over less fences than usual and by shorter routes, but what a day we had as St Hubert smiled upon us and held off the rain.
Miss Jorrocks can vouch that the ground was some of the wettest ever as her mare missed her footing over a small fence and deposited Miss Jorrocks sprawling into the mud, whereupon freed of her lumbering burden she galloped off in pursuit of the field and left Miss Jorrocks to it! Miss Jorrocks is particularly grateful to those solicitous of her welfare, Lisa who retrieved her horse and Master Paul Blagg who showed immense patience as Miss Jorrocks searched around for precisely the right spot from which to remount. Miss Jorrocks is pleased to report that her enjoyment of the day was undiminished despite have wet undergarments and soggy breeches!
And so to Tea, where an enormous pot of Chilli con Carne and camaraderie awaited. St Hubert himself could not have wished for better.
Miss Jorrocks wishes to post a "parish notice" - she retrieved a pony club tie from outside the Hole's house and would be very pleased to reunite it with its owner.
October 27 Iden Park, Iden. TN31 7XD By kind invitation of Mr Glenn Wassall & Mr Neven Znaor.
Parking and tea @ Barons Grange.