Stuffed Grayrigg fox auction stopped in ownership row

The stuffed fox The fox was caught after a three-hour chase

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The stuffed remains of a fox caught in a hunt across Cumbria more than 100 years ago has been withdrawn from auction following an ownership dispute.

The Grayrigg fox was caught after a three-hour chase by the Ullswater Foxhounds in 1898.

It had been due to be auctioned on Wednesday at Anderson & Garland's Town and County sale in Newcastle.

But auctioneer Rod Meek confirmed it has been "returned to its rightful owner".

He said: "A friend of the vendor has been helping manage his affairs while he is in care.

"Unaware the vendor was actually the custodian and not the owner of the Grayrigg fox, it was put forward for auction.

"The fox has now been withdrawn from sale and although we appreciate this will be disappointing for some, it will now be returned to its rightful owner."

With an estimated value of £400-£600, it had previously been owned for more than a century by the Woods family at Grayrigg Hall near Kendal.

The animal is in a 1.2m (4ft) long glass case and bears a handwritten note and an account of the hunt which appeared in the 1921 book, Reminiscences of Joe Bowman.

The story tells how the fox was found and caught by a hound called Cleaver who had been raised at Grayrigg Hall.

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