IT was a family day-out for young and old when the Middleton Hunt staged its traditional Boxing Day meet.

Tiny children were among the many hundreds that packed the centre of Malton to wish the riders well.

Before they headed out into the countryside, the riders called in at an old people's home to wish the residents well, as well as several pubs.

But they did not have time for more than a stirrup cup as they were out of the town before 12.30pm, having met at 11am.

"It was very well supported," said hunt secretary Joanna Newitt. "There were a lot of children, which was very nice to see. Everything went very well."

There was only good wishes in the Market Place for the 68 hunt members on their immaculately turned out horses, as Malton showed its support for the hunters.

They got the traditional send-off with hunting horns and some of the younger supporters were so captivated by what they saw they made drawings of the event.

The Mount Hotel, The Old Lodge and the Royal Oak were among other stopping places as the hunt made a quick tour of Malton.

Then the riders headed out towards Eden Camp and the open country beyond.

The riders and hounds followed a scent on a pre-arranged route. There were no foxes hunted.

Elsewhere, the York and Ainsty Hunt met at the George Hotel, Easingwold and received an equally warm welcome.