Badsworth, Bramham, York South Hunt (BBYS) take the Stirrup Cup

The recently amalgamated Badsworth, Bramham, York South Hunt (BBYS) were in the mood for celebration as their picnic was judged the top offering at last week’s Festival of Hunting, claiming the title and a prize of the Stirrup Cup crate of port for their opening meet, donated by the East of England Agricultural Society, as well as copies of Jenny Jefferies’ books, ‘For the Love of the Land’ and ‘For the Love of the Sea’.

Supporters of the Badsworth, Bramham, York South Hunt celebrate their Hunt Picnic Competition win with judges Jenny Jefferies and Octavia Pollock (the final two on the right) – photo credit Amelia Woolford, East of England Agricultural Society.

With over 15 picnics to judge, over lunch the hot ticket was in the hunt lorry park, where the annual Hunt Picnic Competition was judged by local award-winning food writer Jenny Jefferies and Octavia Pollock, writer and chief sub-editor at Country Life magazine. All hunts entering the classes at the 134th Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, be that in the foxhound classes, or the Inter Hunt Relay competitions, were encouraged to enter the Hunt Picnic Competition as the hunt staff and their supporters came together over a range of delicious homemade dishes celebrating the best of their local land.

The BBYS picnic was coordinated by Jean MacQuarrie, with chairman Andrew McCloy on chief carving duties for the home-reared beef and ham that was so well received by the judges, who also commended the strawberries collated from kitchen gardens across the BBYS country, and delicious pies. The judges were also impressed by the team effort and lovely feeling of the picnic, including top marks for flowers and a very attractive stuffed fox, as the BBYS came together to celebrate their recent union.

Jean MacQuarrie, picnic coordinator, said: “Everything we do as the newly amalgamated BBYS is as a team, so to win the Hunt Picnic Competition on the merit of our dishes as well as the team spirit we displayed is thrilling news! It was such a fun and delicious lunch because everyone contributed to it.”

Cheers! With judges Octavia Pollock and Jenny Jefferies – photo credit Amelia Woolford, East of England Agricultural Society.

Some of the spread on offer with the BBYS Hunt picnic, overseen by an eager pair of eyes – photo credit Amelia Woolford, East of England Agricultural Society

Highly commended went to the Belvoir Hunt for their excellent ‘fox pie’ and homemade Elderflower ‘Champagne’, and the Cotswold Hunt for their homemade puddings.

Spectators that were not affiliated with a particular hunt were well-served too, with this year’s ‘Local Larder’ food and drinks suppliers providing ample opportunities to enjoy catching up with friends and acquaintances from across the rural community. The range of retail trade stands were popular too, with spectators enjoying some retail therapy across high quality hunting apparel through to country clothing, art and gifts, perhaps via a tipple of two at the Hunt Bar.