Hunt Profile: Ledbury Hunt

Current huntsman: Mark Meladay
Kennels: Bromesberrow
Hunting days: Monday and Friday with occasional bye-days*
Hunting country:
Best known for: blocking badger setts, dig-outs, use of artificial earths, long fast chases, arrogance and blatant hunting

* since the South Herefordshire Hunt were put under investigation for incidents that took place at their kennels in Spring 2016, they have not been hunting their country. Despite being the only hunt to ‘publicly’ announce their condemnation of any such activities should they be found to have taken place, the Ledbury Hunt were the hunt who chose to join with the remainder of the South Herefordshire and hunt both the traditional Ledbury country as well as the land once hunted by the South Herefordshire. They have been going out 2 – 4 times a week since the 2016 – 2017 season mixing up where they hunt on any given day

When Three Counties Sabs started as a group (prior to this sabs were active independently or as part of Coventry Sabs which then became 3C and West Mids sab groups) Will Goffe was the huntsman of the Ledbury. He is now huntsman of the Warwickshire Hunt. Mark Meladay took the position over.

Up until the 2015 – 2016 season Tim Pearce-May was the whipper-in of the Ledbury (a couple of seasons back they tried out another guy who seemed to leave rather rapidly after the main season began amid rumours of violence towards his girlfriend… we do not know the truth of the matter, but Tim was soon back on the scene). In May 2016, when hunt staff change / join hunts ahead of the hunting season, Aaron Elliston-Jones, son of Vinnie Jones, joined as a whipper-in in place of Tim. By the end of October he was no longer with the hunt – rumours are that Mark is not very friendly to work with and Mark himself recently told sabs that he needs “a real man”. Tim Pearce-May rejoined for a season before being replaced again.

The hunt seemed to have quite a high turnover of terriermen over the last few seasons, then seemed to stop turning them over and just started piling them on instead. Despite the hunt only having a couple of guys employed as actual terriermen for the hunt, they often go out in quite a big group and certain other members of the hunt also get involved in dig-outs and blocking setts, etc. as well as often carrying the equipment the terriermen need. This means we need to keep an eye on more than just the official terriermen for the hunt.

Terriermen Andrew Bishop and Charlie Freeman attempt to dig-out a hunted fox from an active badger sett near to Upton

After a dispute over face coverings, terriermen and hunt supporter Will Hunt (who spends a lot of time with the terriermen) confront a group of sabs including a 3C sab who was not wearing a face covering and ended up being hit in the face by Will Hunt. Mr Hunt later had to write an apology letter and donate £100 to a local wildlife hospital as part of a community resolution mediated by the police