17th December ’21 – Ledbury Hunt

With Mendip Hunt Sabs.

Gloucestershire police were out for most of the day. First was the extended breakfast meet with “esteemed guests” apparently. David Redvers, joint master, gave a speech which was interesting. He was not happy that the police were present to monitor both sides, nor was he happy about the campaign to stop the Ledbury hunt meeting in Ledbury town centre on Boxing Day. A “tiny minority” are going to ruin things for them so they all had to be on their best behaviour he said. Anyone Holloa’ing a fox would be sent home forthwith! … apparently.

The “esteemed guests” were up from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale in Dorset, a hunt regularly filmed breaching the Hunting Act. Anyway, things deteriorated as the day went on.

First port of call was Rudford where they drew bank and then on to Tweenhills so the field could jump very high jumps very fast. Hounds were put into Carter’s Grove with one lot staying in covert and the other heading towards Corse End. There may well have been a brace of foxes. One came past sabs, his line sprayed with citronella running south towards Hartpury college.

Then on to Limbury Hill, a couple of hounds were rated off of one fox and we went to Blackwell’s End in the car. One hound was left behind and nearly got run over by a white van and we were in a bit of gridlock. It was then that we noted huntsman, Mark Melladay, come past us. Then his whipper in. As for the entire pack… nowhere to be seen for nearly half and hour we followed them on the road as they tried to find the pack. Eventually they did but kept calling for stragglers for some time. This is terrible because the hounds only think of one thing, hunting a fox. They are not savvy about big roads and could get into all sorts of trouble upsetting animals in fields, villagers, causing accidents, getting hurt or killed themselves. It was a relief when at 14.50 we saw that they had managed to find most of the hounds.

The land at the back of Limbury is impassable on a horse or quad due to wire, a river and other obstacles. They then went through Water’s Meet, Foscombe and Wickridge Lane, boxing up in the dark at Stonebow Farm Ashleworth.

A few setts were also checked in the dark what with this being Gloucestershire badger cull zone one and the Ledbury being known to block setts.

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