Thirty-one equestrians and five bloodhounds took part in the annual Boxing Day hunt.

The group gathered in Castletown Square for the three-hour event.

In this hunt, the dogs do not chase any animal. Instead, they follow a scent.

Organisers set out scent trails, using a runner’s scent for the hounds to follow.

Usually the runner will set off 10 to 15 minutes ahead of the hounds.

The hounds then set off, accompanied by a ‘huntsman’ to make sure they are all in order.

A few minutes later the ‘field’ set off. It includes equestrians who leave later than the hounds to ensure that the hounds don’t get hurt.

Participants have a ‘stirrup cup’, which they used to call ‘Dutch courage’, and fruit cake before the event starts, to warm themselves up and prepare for the hunt.

This year the hunt was about 28km long.

An issue for the organisers is finding the land on which to hold the event since many farmers do not want to provide their land for the hunt.

The five bloodhounds that took part were Axel, Angel, Bishop, Badger and Mr Bongo.

Heather Charmer, one of the organisers, said: ‘It is always a great turn-out, with a couple of hundred people watching.

‘People line the streets to watch, and you have all ages. I think this year we had people from about four years old, to 74 years old.’

Another hunt will take place at noon at the Horse and Plough pub at the Isle of Man Business Park on the outskirts of Douglas.