THE traditional Boxing Day hunt meetings took place yesterday, recreating a sight that has been seen across the county for centuries.

Dozens of horses and riders turned out with the Middleton Hunt, who met at 11am to parade their hounds in both Malton and Driffield.

Joint master of the Middleton Hunt Rob Pitcher said Malton Market Place was packed with around 1,000 people turned out to see the traditional spectacle, while as many as 35 mounted hunt followers arrived to follow the hounds.

He added: "The Market Place was absolutely packed, with people spilling out on to the streets around.

"Thirty-five horses is a good turn out, as we will be hunting again on Saturday so some people would be saving their horses for that.

"Today is about thanking people for their support for hunting over the year, and it was great to see so many people out in Malton, on a cold day, to see the hounds."

With both Mr Pitcher and joint master Tom Holt out of action with injured horses, or injuries themselves, the hounds were paraded in Malton under the watchful eye of kennel huntsman Stuart Pocknell.

"It's 10 years since the hunting ban was introduced now, and support for the hunt publicly, and for the Middleton locally, is as strong as ever, Mr Pitcher added."

After the parade of the hounds in Malton the hunt moved on to follow trails they had laid.