Scot Smiths Farmyard, Dauntsey, Wiltshire – 23rd November 2014

Well, it was a long trip in torrential rain to Wiltshire on Sunday, 23rd November 2014 for the first meet of the Beagle Club Working Section 2014-2015 season. The weatherman promised that the rain would stop and the sun would come out at lunchtime and indeed when we arrived at Scot Smiths Farmyard, Dauntsey, Witshire at the kind invitation of Sheila and Richard Wade it was dry. We were also invited to use the ‘beagleproof’ paddocks owned by Theresa and Andrew Chapman that were just down the road to start the day. Before setting off all the hounds that were going to run were put through their paces with the mandatory 1 minute stay and recall.

To start the day the Field Master, David McSheehy, laid a training line for the hounds to follow on the lead as it has been a long break since the last meet in March and this would hopefully remind them what we were here for.  The field of 18 beagles were split into 2 groups each lead by a single Working Certificate holder (Suki Trahearn and Buster Forbes). We moved through to the larger paddock to lay a couple of lines and remembering how many meets it took for the hounds to get running properly last season there was a certain amount of nervousness that the first group was released at the drop of the flag. We needn’t have worried as both groups set off with confidence on the line. It was great to see the hounds run with their coloured coats just as they should. There were a few that turned back from halfway round but the rest of the group came in on the line. Barney McBain clearly carried on with the good work that he produced last season and we had a new star in Sybil Precey who was out for the first time.

We then moved back to Scots Smith Farmyard to lay some further lines. The next line was not quite as successful as the others as both Merlin and Poppy got a little distracted and evaded the Whippers In and decided that aniseed wasn’t enough to hold their attention. After a little while they both came back looking a little dirtier but with smiling faces. We only had time to run a further line before we lost the light. This again was run well even if the heel line seemed a little too popular.

The draggers then retired to the yard and were rewarded with a lovely tea that had been donated by the members. The next meet will be held at East Meon near to Petersfield and hopefully the weather will be a lot better than last year!