The College Valley Hunt Supporters held the third St Gregory’s ride on Sunday 26th May, around the Lanton Estate by kind permission of Ian and Tockie McKie, when Covid 19 restrictions were eased at the beginning of July we decided to run the event at the end of July whilst adhering to the most recent guidelines provided by the Government and The Hunting Office, this required a total revamp of the administration of the event, normally it’s entries on the day where people turn up, sign on after reading our disclaimer and providing payment. Due to the advice we were required to take entries and payment on line, this proved very successful and although resulting in increased admin we were able to plan for the riders that were pre-registering.

Entries were received almost immediately from starting to advertise and grew steadily exceeding our expectations, think people were keen to get out and about with their horses and over the last 2 days entries went crazy, we ended up with just under 200 riders which was phenomenal and presented some challenges in applying the guidelines one of which was to ensure Horseboxes were parked 10M apart, our parking team did a fantastic job as demonstrated in the picture.

As people had pre-registered and pre paid we checked riders at the start to confirm identity and then sent them on their way releasing riders from the start in line with “social distancing”, conditions could not have been better, the recent rain had made underfoot conditions perfect and sunshine and a gentle breeze on the day helped keep both horses and riders comfortable and kept the flies at bay.

We had a marked route, mainly on grass which took in Sandyhouse Dene, a visit to the Davison monument on Lanton Hill, Coldside Hill, Crookhouse, then down to Oakey Brae and the banks of the Bowmont Water, proceeding through Lanton Mill to Lanton where there was a good line of Cross Country jumps available for those who were keen to have a “wee pop” and then back to the finish just down from Sandyhouse. Throughout the ride was the opportunity to take in spectacular and stunning views of the country on both sides of the border

There were lots of happy smiling people at the completion of the ride and we received lots of really positive feedback, the event is an important element in the fund raising activities of the supporters club and from everybody’s perspective it was a very successful day

Our thanks also go to all our willing volunteers who helped in many ways to make the event the outstanding success it was