Gee Atherton chases down his rivals at Red Bull Foxhunt 2012

Fox hunting’s pretty rubbish, right? A load of toffs on horseback tally-ho’ing their way across the countryside. Not when Red Bull are involved. This weekend the roles were reversed as Gee Atherton became the ‘fox’ and a bunch of Ireland’s top racers became his prey, at Red Bull Foxhunt 2012.

Gee’s mission was simple – chase the pack of ‘hounds’ down through Belfast’s Cave Hill Country Park, picking them off one by one. The winner would be the first man to reach the finish line at Belfast Castle. So did Gee claw his way to first place or did the competition outfox him? Check out the photo gallery below to find out.

The race started at Napoleon’s Nose, the highest point of Cave Hill Country Park. Picture by Mark McCormick/Red Bull Content Pool

The race started at Napoleon’s Nose, the highest point of Cave Hill Country Park. Picture by Mark McCormick/Red Bull Content Pool

The promise of 5.3km of testing singletrack lured almost 100 'hounds' to take part. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The promise of 5.3km of testing singletrack lured almost 100 'hounds' to take part. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

There were some nervous faces in the uplift trailer! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

There were some nervous faces in the uplift trailer! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The event capped off Ireland's enduro season and attracted racers from across the island. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

The event capped off Ireland's enduro season and attracted racers from across the island. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

After a sixth place finish at last year's race in Wicklow’s Ballinastoe Woods, Gee Atherton was determined to take the win. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

After a sixth place finish at last year's race in Wicklow’s Ballinastoe Woods, Gee Atherton was determined to take the win. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

But the likes of ex-World Cup downhiller and Red Bull Rampage veteran Glyn O'Brien weren't going to make it easy for him. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

But the likes of ex-World Cup downhiller and Red Bull Rampage veteran Glyn O'Brien weren't going to make it easy for him. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Gee lined up with the other racers but was held back until they'd gained a decent head-start. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Gee lined up with the other racers but was held back until they'd gained a decent head-start. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

A formidable sight - bet Gee was glad he was the hunter, not the prey! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

A formidable sight - bet Gee was glad he was the hunter, not the prey! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

And they're off! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

And they're off! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The course mixed moorland singletrack with forest trails, jumps and drops. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The course mixed moorland singletrack with forest trails, jumps and drops. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The going got pretty muddy in places. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

The going got pretty muddy in places. Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Some handled it with aplomb... Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Some handled it with aplomb... Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

... while others struggled! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

... while others struggled! Picture by Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Riders had to keep ahead of Gee to avoid being eliminated. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

Riders had to keep ahead of Gee to avoid being eliminated. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

But alongside the serious race-heads, there were plenty of people just in it for the craic. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

But alongside the serious race-heads, there were plenty of people just in it for the craic. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

With just 45 vertical metres of climbing, the downhillers and enduro racers had the upper hand. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

With just 45 vertical metres of climbing, the downhillers and enduro racers had the upper hand. Picture by Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

After a plunge through the Red Bull arch, the race finished at the gates of Belfast Castle. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

After a plunge through the Red Bull arch, the race finished at the gates of Belfast Castle. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

With the finish line in sight, Gee picked off a final few riders. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

With the finish line in sight, Gee picked off a final few riders. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

No tearing your prey limb-from-limb at the end of this foxhunt. Instead it was weary smiles all round. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

No tearing your prey limb-from-limb at the end of this foxhunt. Instead it was weary smiles all round. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

Despite a valiant effort by Gee, Dublin's Greg Callaghan just pipped him to the post. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

Despite a valiant effort by Gee, Dublin's Greg Callaghan just pipped him to the post. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

Glynn O'Brien bagged the third spot on the podium and a faceful of champagne. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

Glynn O'Brien bagged the third spot on the podium and a faceful of champagne. Picture by Colm O'Reilly/Red Bull Content Pool

More info at www.redbull.ie.