Ledbury Hunt: 15th February 2016

We went out to the Ledbury Hunt who had their meet in Upton Bishop. We found them drawing blank in a covert by the side of a road – the sun was strong, scent wasn’t so good.

James Smith (and young son) and Jack Hudd (ex-Ross Harriers convicted terriermen) were nearby – there goes the neighbourhood! – and followed the hunt for much of the day. At one point, hounds marked to ground in an area, but Mark gathered them and took them on, back in a circle to where they had previously drawn near the main road. Peter Cooksey, however, was going the wrong way and, seeing him pick up Charlie (terrierman) and Sam, we thought something just might be going on. We followed and one of our sabs caught them in the area where hounds had marked, spades in hand, bag on shoulder and a terrier in tow. A nice pincer-movement later and we confirmed that it was nets that they had in the bag and one sab had a sigh of relief that she hadn’t felt a warm body as she reached into it. Needless to say, we still went into the area to check for signs of tampering with the sett. All clear. Cooksey seemed to think “1-nil to us” was still a clever comment to make.

Moving on and we drove down a road to keep an eye on the hunt and hounds again. At one point, we found the hunt with hounds picking up and Mark encouraging them on – sabs jumped out of the car to try and intervene as supporters’ vehicles came racing up the road to try and follow the chase. On a one-lane road, it was pretty silly of them to drive right up to the front of our car then demand we pull over when the only space to do so was in front of our car. One particular supporter kept “offering” (read: threatening) to move the car for us unless we ‘pulled over’ (on to a steep bank with horses riding past?) Once he realised police were on the phone he soon backed off and we managed to pull over.

Sabs inland stuck with Mark for much of the time he was on foot, rating or holloaing the hounds if they picked up on a scent depending on the situation. Sam remained hat-less and carried on moving Mark’s horse around for him – needless to say, if we had kids, we’d make sure they always wore some head-protection on horses or bikes! Then again, he’s old enough to know that himself.

Mark took hounds on and they picked up, going into full cry just outside Much Marcle, hounds crossing the main road and holding up traffic whilst Tim (with Sam hundreds of yards behind him, still without a riding hat) cantered round the bends of the main road with traffic trying to avoid them. Who laid a trail there then?!

After a little bit of silliness from Charlie and his mate, putting a salt bin in the middle of the road to try and hold us up (even in this car, we can manage to drive around things boys…) the hunt packed up. Definitely an interesting day!

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