A HISTORIC West Somerset pub has been crowned the best hunting pub in the country.

The 500-year-old Exmoor White Horse Inn in Exford won the accolade in this week's Countryside Alliance and Country Life magazine's Britain’s Best Sporting Pub competition.

The Exmoor White Horse, which also won best sporting pub in the South West, is situated within earshot of the kennels of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and next door to a hunter livery yard, and its bar is stuffed with hunting memorabilia, its menu with game.

Landlord Peter Hendrie said: “The White Horse has been a sporting pub for all of its 500-year history but we welcome everyone who enjoys the countryside, from shooters and walkers to our local hunts – the D&S and the Exmoor.

“The traditional Boxing Day meet is a very important part of our calendar and we hold various other functions throughout the year. We are in a very rural part of the country and this is our heritage. We are very excited to have won this award.”

Jill Grieve of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Our sporting pubs are the beating hearts of their communities. They host the shoot lunches and hunt meets we love to attend, are the backdrop to many a tall tale of fishing prowess and they deserve our support.

“The Exmoor White Horse is a hunting institution and has a very special place in its community. It thoroughly deserves to be hailed the country’s best hunting pub and the top sporting pub in the region.”