The History of MSFD
It was in 1900, more than a century ago, that the Mid Surrey Farmers’ Drag Hunt was founded. It was then known as the Banstead Drag. Over the years and, in particularly between the wars, it operated with much success and with much bigger fields than are now permitted.
Having been disbanded during the Second World War, the Drag, with a strong team, was restarted in 1947 by the The Hon. Phillip Kindersley. He was to remain Master for an incredible 40 years. The Drag has ever since continued to show top grade sport as one of the most highly successful drag packs in the country.
His first whipper-in was Ian Patullo, a farmer and brilliant rider, who was also the father of Jenny, Dimpy and Sue. In its early days many big names and characters were connected with the Hunt. These included Sam Marsh, Wink Young, Alan Skinner, Uvedale Lambert, George Forbes, Gerry Langford and the Greenaway and King families.
In recent decades, Phillippa Marshall has been the driving force behind the Drag, first as its Secretary and then subsequently as its Master. Gay, Phillip Kindersley’s son, was in later years also Master with his father.
Then came Edward Cazalet and Douglas Bunn and David Robinson. Peter Webb, Fred French and Linda Adams are the current Masters, with Fred also acting as Huntsman.
The Drag has been fortunate in always having had the generous and full co-operation of the different packs of foxhounds within its country, in particular, the Old Surrey and Burstow, the Southdown and Eridge, the Crawley and Horsham, the West Kent and the Surrey Union. Furthermore, through the continued and superb generosity of landowners and farmers, the Hunt has been able to maintain its operation over a country of grass, jumping mainly blackthorn hedges (clearly marked, with any wire removed between the white markers) as well as a certain amount of timber.
Fields are now kept down to a lower level, averaging around 20 to 25. Careful rules are maintained which ensure that dragging is not like riding a point-to-point! You take your place in the line and jump as you see fit between the white markers on the obstacles