The East of England Agricultural Society, which organises The Festival of Hunting and the prestigious Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, has confirmed that these events will be held on the Milton Estate near Peterborough in 2024, by kind permission of Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society (PRFSS) Chairman, Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland Bt., MFH.
In recent years, the pinnacle event of the hunting community’s social calendar has been held at the East of England showground. The Festival, which is a highlight of the rural summer season, will be held for the final time at this venue on Wednesday, 19th July, before moving to the new location in 2024.
Tim Bonner Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said:
“The Countryside Alliance is proud to be a key sponsor of the Festival of Hunting which is truly the pinnacle of the summer hunting calendar so it is incredibly exciting to see it go from strength to strength each year. We are delighted that the news of the venue for 2024 can now be disclosed so that we can all start planning ahead for the future, whilst also looking forward to celebrating hounds and hunting at this year’s event on 19th July.”
Alison Queenborough, Secretary of the PRFSS, said:
“It is not our first move in the history of the PRFSS, and we are really excited about being able to hold what will be the 136th annual Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show on the Milton Estate.”
“We have been incredibly busy in the background whilst also planning the 2023 event, but are now happy to be in a position to start sharing the news of the 2024 event, which is excellent timing with less than a fortnight to go to the Festival of Hunting 2023 on Wednesday 19th July, at its current home, the East of England Showground, Peterborough.”
‘Peterborough’ is the headline Modern and Old English foxhound show of the summer season and is held alongside the Festival of Hunting, supported by the Countryside Alliance, which also hosts classes for Beagles, Harriers and Basset Hounds, the high stakes knockout-style Inter Hunt Relay Competition, The Hunt Staff Benefit Society Young Handler Class, and the Stirrup Cup Hunt Picnic Competition. The breadth of hounds competing and on display makes the Festival of Hunting one of the largest shows of working scent hounds anywhere in the world.
In 2021, the Countryside Alliance was instrumental in campaigning and lobbying against a motion before Peterborough City Council which, if successful, would have seen the local authority publicly condemn the event at the behest of animal rights activists. After a very public campaign urging councillors to oppose the motion it was robustly defeated with a chorus of councillors praising the event’s contribution to the local economy.