Hunt stalwart Lt Col Laurence McNaught
This dedicated hunt supporter has been involved in just about everything
‘They are always supportive, hospitable and enthusiastic’
William morgan on lt Col mCnaught and his Wife, Penny
AT 80 years old, Lt Col Laurence McNaught has a hunting career spanning 56 years. He is from a generation of military men whose service to Queen and country was augmented by the whole gamut of equestrian activities.
Hunt committee member, point-to-point steward and secretary, organiser of the hunt’s one-day-event — Lt Col McNaught did all of this and hunted as much as he could alongside his duties as a soldier.
After stints on Salisbury
Plain as a young officer, hunting with the Royal Artillery and the Tedworth, Lt Col McNaught was posted to Germany with his first wife, Sue, who was an accomplished equestrian in her own right. In Germany, the McNaughts organised and competed in a series of hunter trials, including the Hohne hunter trial, which attracted competitors from all over Germany.
Former master and huntsman of the Royal Artillery and Avon Vale Jonathan Seed is a great friend of Lt Col McNaught and his second wife, Penny, who is the sister of trainer Henry Candy and mother of trainer Jonathan Portman. The McNaughts are also godparents to the Seeds’ daughter, event rider Libby.
Jonathan remembers fence judging at the Hohne hunter trial as a junior officer.
“Laurence was organising and competing that day and when he arrived at my fence he had two stops, which I marked down as faults. Afterwards he came over and said, ‘Are you sure I had a
refusal at that fence?’ I had to tell him, this very senior officer, ‘Yes Colonel, you did, twice’. He replied, ‘Righto, righto, if you’re sure.’ Some people would get very worked up about that kind of thing, but not Laurence — he’s not that sort of man.”
THE McNaughts settled in Scotland in 1999 where they started hunting with the Dumfriesshire. Lt Col McNaught became a master shortly before the pack was disbanded and he and his wife have since been enthusiastic supporters of the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry foxhounds, a fact that is roundly appreciated.
Chairman William Morgan says, “Some people come up to
have a moan, but not Laurence and Penny. They come to all the dos, host a meet, are always supportive, hospitable and enthusiastic. The world would be a very different place if there were more people like them.”
Master and huntsman of the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry Andrew Cook is similarly appreciative.
“Laurence wears an old red coat that has been patched lots of times, but everything is always frightfully correct. His boots are always highly polished, as are his coat buttons — you imagine they were polished by Penny while he ate his breakfast.”
Hunt secretary Hannah Hutchings notes, “Laurence and Penny are our most staunch supporters.”
They are both planning to hunt this season. Lt Col McNaught rides a rescued ex-chaser, Jimmy Blues, aged 22, bringing their combined age to 102.
“Penny’s horse is even older,” Lt Col McNaught laughs, “so I think this will be our last season”.
You can guarantee that they will carry on supporting from the ground.