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Hounds chase runners through fields as ‘people hunting’ comes to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:23 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:54 02 November 2020

The riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

The riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

For most of us, the thought of being chased through soggy fields by a pack of bloodhounds does not sound overly appealing.

Master and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtMaster and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

But for several ‘runners’ on Sunday, that idea became reality as the sport of ‘people hunting’ arrived in Blackborough End, west Norfolk.

It has been made possible by farmers Charlie and Justine Ward, who recently adopted a pack of 25 hounds and brought them to their farm at Castle Acre.

The hounds were given a chance to get the runners scent before the chase at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Pictured are (from left) Georgie Armstrong, Lucy Wheeler and Gemma Redrup. Picture: Ian BurtThe hounds were given a chance to get the runners scent before the chase at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Pictured are (from left) Georgie Armstrong, Lucy Wheeler and Gemma Redrup. Picture: Ian Burt

The couple had always dreamed of having their own hunt and, when they heard the master of the Isle of Wight Bloodhounds was looking to retire and find them a new home, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

The activity of people hunting begins with the tracker dogs being introduced to a runner’s scent, before the latter is given a head start of 15 minutes to try and outwit the hounds.

The riders getting ready to start the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtThe riders getting ready to start the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Packs are then let loose, with each hunt for the ‘clean boot’ lasting around two or three miles.

Check out our gallery of stunning images.

Justine Ward speaking to the runners before the start. Picture: Ian BurtJustine Ward speaking to the runners before the start. Picture: Ian Burt

Charlie and Justine Ward with their hounds before the start of the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End. Picture: Ian BurtCharlie and Justine Ward with their hounds before the start of the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End. Picture: Ian Burt

The runners were given a lift to their starting point. Picture: Ian BurtThe runners were given a lift to their starting point. Picture: Ian Burt

The runners (from left) Lucy Wheeler, Gemma Redrup and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian BurtThe runners (from left) Lucy Wheeler, Gemma Redrup and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian Burt

The runners are given a head start on the bloodhounds. Pictured are (from left) Gemma Redrup, Lucy Wheeler and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian BurtThe runners are given a head start on the bloodhounds. Pictured are (from left) Gemma Redrup, Lucy Wheeler and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian Burt

One of the bloodhounds gives chase at Blackborough end, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtOne of the bloodhounds gives chase at Blackborough end, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Master and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtMaster and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Master and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtMaster and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

The riders prepare to give chase. Picture: Ian BurtThe riders prepare to give chase. Picture: Ian Burt

The runners are given a head start on the bloodhounds. Pictured are (from left) Gemma Redrup, Lucy Wheeler and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian BurtThe runners are given a head start on the bloodhounds. Pictured are (from left) Gemma Redrup, Lucy Wheeler and Georgie Armstrong. Picture: Ian Burt

Riders, their horses and the hounds getting ready to give chase. Picture: Ian BurtRiders, their horses and the hounds getting ready to give chase. Picture: Ian Burt

Riders, their horses and the hounds getting ready to give chase. Picture: Ian BurtRiders, their horses and the hounds getting ready to give chase. Picture: Ian Burt

Charlie and Justine Ward with their hounds before the start of the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End.. Picture: Ian BurtCharlie and Justine Ward with their hounds before the start of the 'people hunt' at Blackborough End.. Picture: Ian Burt

The riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtThe riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

The riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtThe riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

The bloodhounds give chase through the fields. Picture: Ian BurtThe bloodhounds give chase through the fields. Picture: Ian Burt

Master and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds. Picture: Ian BurtMaster and huntsman Charlie Ward with his bloodhounds. Picture: Ian Burt

The riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtThe riders and bloodhounds are led by huntsman Charlie Ward at Blackborough End, west Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt


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