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PICTURES: Horses and hounds at the annual New Year’s Day Alnwick trail hunt

Huntsman Robert McCarthy and Whipper In Matthew Sewell bring the hounds along to the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman
Huntsman Robert McCarthy and Whipper In Matthew Sewell bring the hounds along to the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman
  • Crowds turned out for traditional January 1 meeting, which proved divisive and split opinion online

Crowds braved the cold to see the horses and hounds at the Percy Hunt’s annual New Year meet.

Riders gathered at the Barbican at Alnwick Castle for Monday’s traditional ride-out.

Members of the Pony Club at the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Members of the Pony Club at the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Percy Specials helped keep the chill at bay, while youngsters enjoyed getting up close to the hounds.

A total of 43 hounds took part in the hunt, which was led by huntsman Robert McCarthy and Whipper In Matthew Sewell.

A bus load of tourists from Costa Rica stopped at the castle to take pictures.

The riders then left the castle, went up Clayport Bank and headed onto Alnwick Moor for the trail hunt.

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

The meet was filmed by Gazette photographer Jane Coltman and the video was screened by the Gazette via Facebook Live. It was viewed by more than 17,000 people.

As always, the hunt proved to be divisive, with some people commenting in favour of it, while others were against.

Alnwick wasn’t the only place in Northumberland to hold a New Year’s Day hunt.

Morpeth Hunt riders, horses and hounds assembled in the town on Monday morning before heading into the countryside.

A bus load of tourists from Costa Rica were keen to take pictures of the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

A bus load of tourists from Costa Rica were keen to take pictures of the Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Morpeth event – which followed a well-supported meet on Boxing Day – was hosted by Ray Green and family.

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

Percy Hunt meet at Alnwick Castle on New Year's Day 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Morpeth Hunt's New Year's Day meet in the New Market. Picture by Doug Harrison.

The Morpeth Hunt's New Year's Day meet in the New Market. Picture by Doug Harrison.