See more pictures at Darren Clark Photography or on our Facebook page.
Saturday 15th April, Easter Saturday, is the day of the Annual ASHFORD VALLEY TICKHAM ‘POINT TO POINT’. A great day out for all the family. There are various stalls selling country merchandise as well as refreshments for all taste. Fairground rides provide entertainment for the children while the adults enjoy the races.
A Point-to-Point is a form of amateur horse racing over fences held at a variety of Point-to-Point racecourses throughout the UK. It’s a great day out in the countryside where people come together to enjoy the sport and to socialise.
Charing Racecourse is undulating and suits stayers with four fences jumped uphill; quick-draining chalk based pasture land is seldom heavy; fences firm and well-built mixture of portable and permanent.
The course usually open their gates at least two-hours before the first race, so you have plenty of time to grab a racecard, study the form and enjoy your picnic before racing starts.
(30/01/2013) – Staplehurst
The quaint traditional English pub on the edge of the village played host to a dozen or more riders equalled by as many foot followers before the start of the day’s hunting. Thank you to our host for their hospitality. Stirrup cup and light refreshment taken, the procession set off over the bridge and up to the main road. Once across the main road, hounds were taken to the first draw. Despite heavy rain the previous evening the going for the horses was not too bad, although deep tractor ruts scarred the farmyard and played host to gallons of rainwater.
Hounds failed to find the trail which is sometimes the case and happens for various reasons but sterns were still held high as hounds were taken across a field to a covert and cast again. Several trails had been laid throughout the day and when the 14 ½ couple of bitches did find a trail they flew in full cry. The pace was fast and decisions had to be made as to where the best vantage point would be to see the pack in action. The fact that only the trail layers know the route on which a trail has been laid keeps hunting authentic for those that follow. On finding one trail, hounds were strung out at a fast pace along a hedgerow and water lying in the wet grass sprayed behind them as their hind legs thrust them forward. As they ran and voiced their delight there was a moment of anxiety among the pack as they waited their turn to jump a metal gate, a task that some hounds were more proficient at than others.
It was interesting to see how swollen the rivers were and in some places water still spilled out of the ditches on to the lanes. The water levels were high and caused followers to ponder as to what would happen if hounds tried to cross the river and got into difficulty, with the current running so fast. Fortunately it didn’t happen and hounds crossed safely at an appropriate crossing.
A quick dash in vehicles along the road took foot followers to the next vantage point. However a scramble over a mountain of rubble was needed to get into the field, which was no deterrent for the Terrier boy’s quad bike which encountered a steep descent! No problem for its rider who had every confidence in the manoeuvre.
The sun shone bright for some of the day and it was interesting to see how it reflected off the buttons on the jackets of the riders who were following a hedge line a few fields away. Something that would probably not be noticed until remarked upon by a follower.
Having covered the country that had been made available for the days hunting it was time to retrieve trailers and boxes from the meet to save a long hack back. Drivers were delivered safely to their vehicles and it was time to say goodnight.
AVTH SHOWJUMPING CLINICS COMING SOON !
Ashford Valley Tickham hunt are planning to hold regular jumping clinics throughout the Spring and Summer 2017 . The clinics are catering for all ages and abilities whether you are competing regularly, a complete beginner, have a youngster or if you wish to improve those jumping skills before the next hunting season starts ! The sessions are open to both members and non members of AVTH.
The groups will be small and will have riders/horses of similar standards to gain the most from the sessions.
Refreshments for all riders and farmland available to hack on to cool off after each session so a great way to meet new people and enjoy your horse !
Venue Bearsted Nr Maidstone and all further details re dates and cost will be available soon.
All bookings and enquiries Nikki Lewis 07812098937
Many pictures are taken at our meets. The pictures are taken by our followers and are extremely professional. To see a selection taken by keen photographer, Darren Clark, follow the link to view some amazing pictures. darrenclark.zenfolio.com
Other pictures can also be seen in our group Facebook Page.
If you would like to see pictures of the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt all the year round, then why not purchase one of our calendars that can be bought at Hunt Meets.
The Ashford Valley Tickham have various items of clothing for sale which is embroidered with the Hunt logo. Full price list and how to order can be found here on our website. Press button, Hunting/Hunt Merchandise.
Just a reminder about a few things!
Please ensure that your vehicles are left safe and secure while you are hunting. Make sure that all valuables are hidden from view.
Before leaving for home, have a check-around to make sure that your vehicle hasn’t been tampered with and that your lights, indicators are all working correctly. Importantly, make sure your trailer is still correctly secured to the towing vehicle.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously during the day or needs questions answered, please inform one of the Masters, the Hon. Secretary or a committee member.
If a crime is being committed , dial 999 straight away. Don’t take the law into your own hands.
Always report a crime so that it is on record!
Make sure that you tell someone when you retire from your day’s hunting. We don’t want to be hunting for some that has gone home!
Be safe and enjoy the day.
CHRISTMAS RAFFLE On behalf of the AVT Hunt I wish to thank everyone who purchased raffle tickets, whether voluntary or bullied by me, for our Grand Christmas Raffle. The draw took place in December and all prizes have been claimed and I am delighted to inform you that £1,700 was raised for Hunt funds so an enormous thank you for all your support. Thank you also to the people who donated the wonderful prizes which were on offer, it is very much appreciated. This was the first Christmas Raffle we have held and I can assure you it will be the first of many so be warned.
Sue Palmer Raffle Organiser.
Donated prizes: LEEDS CASTLE, MAIDSTONE THE HAWKING CENTRE, DONNINGTON PLACE JANET GAMBIER, ARTIST DARREN CLARK, PHOTOGRAPHER HOLE PARK, ROLVENDEN DAVE LUCKHURST BUTCHER, SMARDEN JEAN FORDHAM CLAIRE BATTLE KERRY STAINES THE FACTORY SHOP HEADCORN, JOHN PALMER
Find out more about the Hunt fundraising and how you can get involved: Fundraising
Acknowledging the many friends and supporters who turned out to see the Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt at the Boxing Day Meet. Thank you to everyone who attended, it is very much appreciated.
The AVTH rely heavily on the support of many, which includes our many Farmers and Landowners who very generously allow us to cross their land during a days hunting and to them a tremendous “Thank You” from the Masters, Staff and followers of the Hunt. A big Thank You must also go to the many who host our meets.
Many people work tirelessly throughout the year to keep the pack hunting, some seen, many unseen! Thank You to you all.
“Have A Very Happy New Year”