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Excitement of hunting season's opening day is shared by youngsters and veterans

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 15, 2012

  • The East Cornwall Hunt meet, at Minions in the south-east corner of Bodmin Moor Picture: Emily Whitfield-Wicks

  • Top, Michael Weir leads his last opening meet on Dartmoor. Above, Ciara Daw Pictures: Steven Haywood

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For 22 seasons huntsmaster Michael Weir has been a familiar site proudly leading the Dartmoor Foxhounds out into the countryside.

Resplendent in his scarlet jacket astride his mount, the 66-year-old led the hounds out for his final season on Saturday morning.

Around 40 horses rode out with him from Monkmoor Farm, Bittaford, near Ivybridge, into the middle of Dartmoor.

Starting at around 11am the hunt finished at around 4.30pm.

Mr Weir said it had been a successful day's riding with no major incidents.

He said: "We had a group of riders of all ages from the very young all the way up.

"The weather was kind to us with sunshine.

"I think everyone had a very enjoyable day as we always do on these occasions."

Meanwhile at the village of Minions in Cornwall on Saturday the East Cornwall hunt were out also in force for their opening meet of the season.

The village is situated on the eastern flank of Bodmin Moor, north-west of Caradon Hill.

Again, a group of around 40 riders took to the saddle for several hours galloping across the moor.

Earlier in the morning trails made of aniseed were laid by a loan rider along the route for the hounds to follow. Although conditions were somewhat blustery with bouts of rain the inclement weather did not deter the enjoyment of riders taking part.

Graham Higgins, huntsmaster was the man leading the horses and hounds out.

A spectator said: "It was marvellous to watch them all go racing by.

"Every one was in good spirits and the atmosphere was wonderful as it always is at these events."

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