A long day out today as the Beaufort and Sinnington were holding a joint meet in Beaufort country down at Tormarton, not far from where the Beaufort kennels are in Badminton.
The day started with a rider pretending to lay trails (which the hounds subsequently ignored) and hounds picked up on another scent and ran towards the crossroads just north of Tormarton where they checked (lost the scent).
Across the road then to the south and over to a covert where hounds seemed vaguely interested in a scent, so the hunt spent over half an hour faffing around there hoping hounds would pick up. They didn’t. Support were overheard complaining about being bored.
The hunt normally enjoy drawing Brotton Hill and Faggot Pile, but with presence of foot sabs they passed straight by and crossed over towards Acton Turville by the motorway bridge. Up towards Centre Walk then some other coverts where they drew blank too (failed to pick up on a scent) then they galloped off and over the railway to Newhouse Farm. To the north of the road hounds picked up and hunted towards a covert where they lost the scent and a well-placed foot sab was able to rate hounds, until hunt staff took over, when they rioted on deer.
Second-horse and refreshments then ensued, followed by hounds picking up inland to the north and running several miles (sabs in tow) towards the A46. A hunt rider proceeded to drag a piece of cloth along the side of the road next to traffic, pretending to be laying a trail for our cameras… along a road? Interesting…
Again they missed some favourite coverts, including seven mile plantation and once one run was over, they galloped off over several fields and into Badminton Estate instead. We caught up with them near Worcester Lodge, drawing blank through several coverts before again running away from various coverts they normally enjoy and over to Sopworth where they picked up and gave chase to a couple of foxes before packing up in the dark.
Our foot sabs estimate they covered at least 9 miles today, the hunts preferring to try to lose us by running for miles within largely landlocked areas and covering a huge amount of country instead of hunting properly and thoroughly drawing coverts. Some very gentlemanly behaviour from one Beaufort rider who called one of our sabs a “stupid bitch” when she was simply walking along, and a terrierman who screeched “fuck off!” at her later in the day…