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THOUSANDS of people in two Cotswold towns celebrated the New Year on the hoof.

Up to 3,000 people turned out to see the horses and hounds of the North Cotswold Hunt who met at the Lygon Arms, Chipping Campden on Sunday.

At the hunt’s Easter Point to Point last year £1,000 was raised for the Campden Home Nurses and a cheque was presented to the charity last weekend.

About 114 horses – a quarter of which were ridden by children – set off across Broad Campden and did not return until dusk.

Hunt master Nigel Peel said: “It went very well – a nice start to the new year.

There was a huge crowd and a lot of people on foot.

It’s always a popular meet.”

Meanwhile in Stow, hundreds of people turned out to the Heythrop Hunt which met on Monday.

Up to 4,000 people packed the Square to see the 200 mounted horses before they headed off around Stow, the Slaughters, Swell and Condicote.

Hunt master Howard Wooliams said: “There were lots of children on horseback which was great to see for the future of hunting.”