10th and 11th February – Ledbury Hunt

A busy couple of days once again in the three counties with info coming in about various meets.

Yesterday saw a couple of us head out to the Ledbury who were meeting in Longdon, so a sab went out early to check setts nearby and was pleased to find that none of the usual were blocked! The morning seemed to be quite blank with hounds hardly speaking, but as a second sab arrived it all picked up with hounds splitting, half on the scent of a fox we had spotted and the other half on the hares who had just run off across the field. Even whipper-in looked concerned (he was probably wondering how best to control the hounds and stop them rioting now that Mark believes the use of whips to be outdated and unprofessional… See our court-report for clarity!) Throughout the day, 3 new setts were found, 2 setts had been blocked and others left open nearby and one hound almost ran under the wheels of our car (lucky we were going slow enough to react). So much for that ‘Golden Thread’ hey Mark, think it must have got snagged somewhere.

With good communication between us and Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch we decided that between us we could check setts prior to Heythrop and Cotswold meets today as they would be hunting close to each other.

Other 3C sabs meanwhile headed to the Ledbury Hunt who were having a rare Saturday meet – a children’s meet, like this time last year when they hunted foxes, blocked setts, the huntsman rode a sab into a hedge and terriermen ended the day by hanging a dead fox out of the window of their vehicle on the way past on the A417.

This year, however, the dynamic had changed somewhat and, while they still picked up, not every fox was chased… and only the one terrierman was out (he seems to have lost a lot of his usual company recently…).

From the meet at Tweenhills, around which one of our sabs had been checking setts this morning, they headed across the busy A417 and into Woolridge, down into Maisemore at speed and back across the A-road towards the site of last year’s assault on the sab. Scent was on and off until hounds got up into a nearby hill which we know well from the badger culls. Mark didn’t seem happy to see us up there and the person he quickly tried to call seemed not to pick up the phone, but they had a run round and round the woodland before moving off again. A fox was spotted heading for safety in a badger sett nearby.

Off onto another hill with another sett and a similar occurrence then back down on to land owned by the Master and hounds almost rioted and ran off on the scent of a deer before packing up. Quite a fast-paced day for a Children’s meet, but shorter than a normal day out. Thanks to the lovely sab from Welsh Borders who always brightens up our Saturdays and to sabs from Bristol and South Wales groups who joined us out there today. Also to the person who made the warming (vegan) Shepherd’s Pie for afterwards

There were some very original comments made about parking tickets (honestly Vicki, no one made exactly the same joke earlier in the day or yesterday at all, well done for being so imaginative) and some confusion when we complimented whippers-in on their beautiful ceremonial whips – seems we’re not the only ones who think Mark talks a load of …

Support us? PayPal.me/threecountiessabs and watch this space for other reports from today’s outings.

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