The Masters

  • obh hendred photo

    Michael Bowlby

    MFH

    Michael originally joined the Mastership in 2006 and after a short break re-joins the team in 2017. He lives with his wife Mandy Bowlby at Gurnsmead Farm, Kingston Lisle, home of ‘The Spinneys’.

  • James Blanchard

    James Blanchard

    MFH

    James joined the Mastership in 2012 having hunted with Old Berks Hunt since he was a child. Previously, James worked as a Land Agent in the Cotswolds but he now works full time for a family farming business within the Old Berks country.

  • Ben

    Ben Elcock

    MFH

    2014/2015 was Ben's first season as a joint master of the Old Berks Hunt, although he has been a mounted follower and a member for over ten years. Ben started hunting as a child in the north of England and lives in Kingston Lisle where he runs his own farriery business.

  • Caroline Manners

    Caroline Manners

    MFH

    Caroline is a farmer's daughter and farmer's wife who has always lived in the Old Berks country and hunted with the Old Berks since she was a child. She is married to Richard and she has been actively involved with fundraising for the Old Berks all her married life.

  • Rachel

    Rachel Matheson

    MFH

    Rachel is a farmer’s daughter from the north end of the Bicester country, where she hunted for 50 seasons. Rachel has been actively involved with farming, hunting, the YFC movement and sport – she trained as a PE teacher and she has also been involved in show jumping , point-to-pointing & producing hunters. Rachel is married to David and they live in the heart of Old Berks country where they farm sheep and beef.

  • Dee Powell

    Dee Powell

    MFH

    Dee started hunting with the O.B.H in 1965. Both her parents and 2 sisters have been previous Old Berks Hunt Masters. Dee has worked in racing in the UK, USA and South Africa. She has also show jumped, evented, played polo and steeplechased. Dee returned to the UK in 2007 and produces polo ponies (thoroughbreds) with her son. Dee has 3 children who all hunt.

  • Scottie

    Michael Scott

    Huntsman

    Michael Scott has been huntsman to the Old Berkshire since 1998, prior to that he had worked for the Fitzwilliam, Taunton Vale Foxhounds, Quorn, Vale of Aylesbury and East Devon. He relishes the task and the challenges the role brings with it, he has a great fondness for the Old Berks country and the people within it.

  • Oli

    Oliver Thompson

    Whipper-In

    Oliver moved from The Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds to join The Old Berks Hunt as of 1st May 2015. Prior to this, Oliver was a whipper-in with The East Kent Hunt.

  • History

    The Old Berkshire Hunt Ltd - The "Old Berks" dates back to 1830 in its present form but the country has been hunted since about 1760. See The History of the Old Berks Hunt, 1760-1904 by F C Loder-Symonds and E Percy Crowdy (Vinton & Co Ltd, 1905).

    Hunt Country

    The country which is in Oxfordshire is mixed, with grass, set-aside and corn crossed with timber and some hedges. There are quite a few streams and ditches including the infamous Rosie Brook. Hunt-owned coverts include Longcot Thorns. Following the successful incorporation in February 2004 the Old Berkshire Hunt Ltd is a company limited by guarantee. The Directors of the company are responsible for its management but delegate the responsibility for day-to-day management to the Joint Masters and others appointed to assist them.