The Atherstone Foxhounds were founded at the beginning of the 19th century. The first recorded master being a Mr Pullston who retained office from 1804 – 1812. In 1815 the famous Squire Osbaldeston, a well-known figure in the hunting world, established hounds at the present kennels at Witherley. The country has been hunted from there ever since except for a period between 1930 – 1950 when the hunt was divided into North and South. Captain Ramsden hunting the North and Mr Reginald Wright establishing a kennel at Cotesbach to hunt the South.
The Atherstone country covers some 400 square miles, mainly in Warwickshire and Leicestershire. It is a large area but urbanisation and motorways have reduced the huntable country quite considerably in recent years. In fact only 2 days hunting per week are now possible. We have a mixed country with some arable, but there are still pockets of good old fashioned grass and fly fences, which can be enormous fun.
Mike has 25 couple of hounds in the kennels at Witherley, mostly bred on the traditional old English lines but some modern blood has been introduced in recent years.
The Atherstone Hunt Country Extends 24 miles from the North to South and 18 miles East to West. From 1930 to 1950 the hunt divided into the North Atherstone and the South Atherstone, but is now reunited as one. During that time the first South Atherstone huntsman was the famous Arthur Thatcher, who although no longer young, showed remarkable sport before he past away in November 1931. He was buried near the kennels at Cotesbach. The terrain is a mixture of arable and grass with some tough fences, the fences are mainly post and rails, but the hedges do also require jumping, preferably by a bold horse. The country and often the going needs a fit horse but there are a selection of days suitable for young horses and the less experienced rider.
Adjacent Packs: Meynell and South Staffs, Quorn, Fernie and Pytchley.