Hunt Country The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt country lies in Dorset and Somerset. It covers about 21 miles north to south and about 25 miles east to west at its widest. The country is mainly grass, being a dairy farming area. It is a good sporting country, virtually flint-free and is strongly fenced with large hedges and ditches. A strong, robust horse is required to cope with the deep going. It must be able to gallop and really jump. Much wire is removed during the hunting season. Best centres: Sherborne, Milborne Port and Sparkford.

Hunt History From 1940 the East Division of the country was temporarily lent to Miss E.A. Guest. She had a private pack from 1914 and hunted the East Division as the Blackmore Vale (Miss Guest's) until 1954, when it was returned. The Blackmore Vale and Blackmore Vale (Miss Guest's) were amalgamated in 1954. The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale was formed in 1971 by the amalgamation of the Blackmore Vale Foxhounds and the Sparkford Vale Harriers. The Blackmore Vale Hunt dates from 1826, and the country has existed since 1831, when the Rev Harry Farr Yeatman hunted hare, fox or roe deer. The roe deer had been brought from Germany by Lord Dorchester, and are still very plentiful. Mr. Yeatman bought his pack from Mr. Templar, of Devon. Mr. Hall hunted part of the country for one season (1834) and the 1st Viscount Portman, by arrangement with Mr. Hall, hunted a portion from 1831 to 1840. Meantime Mr. Drax, having had some misunderstanding with Mr. Farquharson, started a pack to hunt over his own property, and from this Hunt comes a direct succession of Masters. The Sparkford Vale Harriers were started in 1888 by H. Turner, of Cary Fitzpaine. During Mr. Holt Needham's Mastership the pack was his property and was known by his name. In 1905, on Mr. Holt Needham's resignation, the name was changed. From 1907-09 the hounds were moved from Wales House, Queen Camel to Sherborne Castle. They returned to kennels at Queen Camel in 1909.