THOUSANDS made their way to Lacock to witness the spectacle of horses, riders, hounds, and an eagle owl called Olga in the village on Boxing Day.

The Avon Vale Hunt met at 11am and before riders took off over the fields the hunt made a presentation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance in the form of a cheque for £2,000.

The money had been raised by four hunt members who had embarked on a sponsored slim over three months.

Supporters Club Chairman, Eddy Stiles, said: “A total of £4,000 was raised over all and it was decided that half of this would go to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance as it is such a vital and important service.”

Mr Stiles said among those who took part in the slim were a joint master of the hunt and the chairman.

He said the day was very much enjoyed by everyone, but it was a slightly shorter hunt as the Avon Vale was due to hunt again the following day.

Mr Stiles said however 74 riders took part in the Boxing Day hunt, which wrapped up about 3pm.

His job was to follow the hunt on his quad bike, finding alternative routes round for non jumpers and also looking after Olga the six-year-old Siberian Eagle owl belonging to the hunt.

Mr Stiles said the day went very well and there was no sign of anyone that had come along to protest or make any trouble for the riders and hounds.

He said the people of Lacock had always been very supportive of the day and had always welcomed them into the village.

He said:” A lot of the people that come down wouldn’t necessarily go to a normal hunt meet, they just come down to witness the whole thing as it is pretty spectacular.”