AROUND 6,000 people have gathered today for the traditional Boxing Day Heythrop hunt in Chipping Norton.

The square outside the Fox Hotel was packed with riders, dogs and Chipping Norton residents who went along to see the hunt off.

Despite criticisms from animal rights campaigners about the event, there were no signs of protest there this morning.

Riders followed a scent trail that had been laid out earlier in the day.

The Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hound Club hunt was also due to take place east of Bicester today.

The Kimblewick Hunt, previously the Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and South Berks Hunt, which covers parts of Oxfordshire, was due to meet at Cholsebury Common at midday.