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Jumping for joy as hunt finally meets

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DOZENS of riders donned their hunting pinks yesterday to take part in a festive tradition that is more than 200 years old.

The Kildare Hunt has met in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow, on St Stephen's Day since 1793. But this year, the meet was postponed because of the weather -- hard, icy ground poses a safety risk for both horses and riders. The hunt was also postponed because it is considered unlucky to have a meet on a Sunday.

But yesterday at noon, huntsman Chris Francis, pictured, led the riders and a dozen hounds through the streets of the town.

Hunting with hounds, though controversial, remains popular in rural communities.

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