A HUNT secretary is nearly everyone’s first point of contact with a hunt. That first impression is vital, and will never be forgotten, however well someone may get to know the hunt’s other officers and characters.
It is not a glamorous role, filled as it is with paperwork, organisation and getting people to hand over money, but it is perhaps the essential grease that keeps the engine functioning smoothly.
To have been the four-day-a-week Beaufort’s hunt secretary for 17 years is therefore an achievement of considerable note; to remain popular and unruffled, as Nigel Maidment has, in all that time, is almost worthy of a medal.
“If you want a job doing, the Maidment family will do it,” says Ian Farquhar, who was master of the Beaufort for 34 seasons. “I knew that the Maidments were very efficient, and helpful in the most charming way and got on with everyone. They also have very good brains.
“Nigel and his wife Valerie had been district commissioners of the Beaufort branch of the Pony Club [ and had run our hunt supporters’ club from 1996 to 2003], and had done each job very well. Nigel is a working farmer so got on with our farmers, but also with the subscribers and the foot-followers.
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