6th March ’20 – Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt

“Paul said there were a lot of foxes today”

* 100th meet attended this season
* sab stops hounds going on to railway where hounds were killed a few weeks ago
* hunt supporter breathes heavily in sab’s face and jokes she has coronavirus
* hounds trespass in gardens
* hunt pack up after dark

Another long old day with members of the amazing Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch (thanks for the invite down!) at the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt. We turned up after work, just as one of CIHW had almost been headbutted by a hunt supporter (who was bundled off into a car and disappeared for the remainder of the day).

We got inland and soon had company from some unfit landowners obsessed with Barbados (though trying to figure out if they were inviting us on holiday with them or telling us all the foxes had gone on holiday there was difficult) and thus began a day of landowners lying about where footpaths run… guys, if we’re going to get shouted at for trespass when we’re on footpaths and bridleways then there’s really no point in sticking to them if actual trespass would get us into better positions.

A member of CIHW stopped the pack from chasing a fox across a railway line where hounds were killed just a few weeks ago and the hunt staff caught up with the pack and re-cast them, picking up on another scent when hunt supporters used a whistle* to alert huntsman of a fox sighting.

*traditionally holloas (high pitched yells) are used to indicate fox sightings but whistles can be used in their place

A long ride between Luckington and Alderton, south across the railway then back to Alderton followed, then a long hack over to Badminton before a fox was chased from Badminton Park back towards Luckington. The pack were hunted around Alderton again before coming back to Badminton. A couple of foxes made their escape from the hounds in these areas and some landowners in Alderton weren’t best pleased with hounds in their gardens… car drivers weren’t best pleased with horses being ridden straight out on to roads either without warning. Some hunt riders weren’t best pleased with other supporters talking about foxes and not realising sabs were nearby filling.

A number of areas had hunt supporters attempting to stop sabs from getting near to the hunt, this artificial earth was found blocked in a wood and several holloas were heard indicating the sighting of other foxes. Screeching banshee Hayley (who works in Badminton Estate) not only thinks that it’s acceptable to stand in the way of sab vehicles trying to safely get out of the way of horse boxes but also screech at the driver when they’re trying to execute difficult manoeuvres at a 45 degree angle on a verge. And apparently thinks the coronavirus is a funny thing to joke about.

You’d have thought that such a prestigious hunt might have more class…

We’re only just getting home as we write, the hunt having still been hunting in the dark and packing up finally at 6.30pm. After a day spent alongside hunt riders who, rather pathetically, can’t even admit that they’re fox hunting (the rest of us are proud of our hobbies and sports but they have to pretend to themselves and others that they’re doing something different) several cups of tea are in order…

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