RIDERS cut a dashing scene as they exercised horse and hounds along the banks of the River Tees for a traditional New Year's Day hunt.

Almost 50 riders saddled up for The Zetland Hunt's annual gathering which was held in Barnard Castle, County Durham, earlier today.

Organisers laid a trail alongside the river and across the countryside surrounding the town to exercise horse and hounds.

Hunt secretary Andrew Spalding said: "The New Year's Day ride is probably the third most important on our calendar, after the opening meet of the season and Boxing Day when we got more than 100 people out.

"We had a very good show for New Year and lots of foot followers, we have more support now than we have had for a long time.

"We only decided to call it a day earlier than because it was foggy but we all enjoyed it."