The hunt met at the Hunter’s Inn, Buckbury with friends over from France who scared horses, hounds and sabs alike with their horn-blowing at the meet…
While two sabs followed the huntsman and hounds, another sat in a hedge watching an artificial earth (see photos) waiting to see if the hunt used it. He had been there about four hours at which point he got restless and decided to go for a walk to check some setts. As he walked across the field with the artificial in it he spotted the nose of a sky blue Nissan Navara (Reg YY12 LDN) entering the field through a gap in the hedge. The vehicle stopped for a split second then began to reverse at a fair speed. A reasonable distance away from the sab, the unknown driver and passenger, terrierman Oscar Bates, got out, quickly picking up mud with their hands and splatting it over the vehicles number plates before masking up.
The driver complained about having his photo taken and explained he was working on the crops for the farmer. Funny, because the field with the artificial in has no crop – and we’re not sure running away from random walkers and the identity paranoia is normal behavior from farm workers… Once the terriermen left, the sab walked back near the artificial and continued to wait. Shortly after, Forthampton gamekeepers Kevin Yapp and Chris Bowers and a mate came looking for the sab on their buggy, checking on their pheasant kit nearby.
When the hunt came by later in the day, supporters showed fairly clear signs of wanting to use the artificial, moving hedge sab on, but another sab had entered the area and they were unable to do so. The artificial is very clean and well kept for something that shouldn’t have been used since 2004. Perhaps the hunt are carefully maintaining it for when hunting becomes legal again – fingers crossed, never.