Slideshow: Streets packed for Boxing Day Hunt in Lewes

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Crowds lined the streets of Lewes to watch the riders, horses and hounds of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt on Boxing Day.

Organisers said the town was even busier than last year as residents packed the High Street from School Hill to Shelleys Hotel to enjoy the annual spectacle.

Lewes Boxing Day Hunt meet. Photo by Peter Cripps.

Lewes Boxing Day Hunt meet. Photo by Peter Cripps.

This year about 20 riders gathered outside the White Hart in the High Street and they were joined by the rest of the riders some 20 minutes later. They then made their way to the South Downs for the hunt together.

This was in a bid to make the event safer for riders, horses and members of the public, as it can be quite an ordeal for a horse being hemmed in by so many people when it is new to the Boxing Day Hunt in Lewes.

The hunt’s joint honorary secretary Anne Chatterton said: “Everyone who went up there said there were more people than last year all the way. It went really well. The High Street was absolutely packed outside the White Hart.”

Residents come from Lewes and outlying villages to watch the Boxing Day tradition.

The traditional event has a long history.

Anne said the Boxing Day Hunt had certainly been running since after the Second World War and could possibly be even older.

The Southdown and Eridge Hunt has its kennels in Ringmer.

It was formed in 1981 by the amalgamation of the Southdown Hunt and the Eridge Hunt.

For more information visit http://www.southdownanderidge.com/