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. More recently, we have added a number of hunt fences, which can be enormous fun.
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 lovely old buildings with their stables, kennels and show yard remain largely unchanged and are still used today, along with our cottages for the hunt staff who care for the horses and some 50 hounds. The hounds themselves are mostly bred on the traditional Old English lines and their breeding can be traced back two hundred years.
In order to retain all this wonderful heritage, we have tried to ensure that other than the laying of trails, very little has been changed for the Atherstone Hunt. We still meet at farms and pubs and as tradition dictates, we meet in the town square at Market Bosworth on Boxing Day and in the Town Square at Atherstone on New Year’s Day. Our dress code is largely unaltered and the same hunting terminology used, so overall hunting scenes appear much the same as they have done for hundreds of years
Adjacent Packs: Meynell and South Staffs, Quorn, Fernie and Pytchley.