Hit report 12/3/22
On Saturday we headed up North for an away trip and a good excuse to catch up with our good friends Lancashire Huntsabs and Cumbria Hunt Saboteurs.
A tip off had come through to our Northern friends that the Vale of Lune harriers would be meeting in Out Radcliffe. The Vale of Lune who are they? Well according to their Instagram page “The VLH are a trail hunt based in North West if England, We support local farmers and help promote the countryside and its traditions” hmmm not a word of truth spoke there.
There were a lot of field riders out with the hunt as it was a joint meet with the Holcombe hunt, and a bit of a showpiece event, with numerous photographers. When we arrived at the meet we could have been forgiven for thinking we’d taken a wrong turn and ended in in Monte-Carlo Grand Prix, with the hunt haven’t promotional advertising hanging up, very odd and not very traditional.
The hunt set off at midday and headed straight up the track towards us, with the huntsman trying to keep his pack under closer control. The hunt then stopped, and one of the huntmasters gave a speech,jyst one of numerous speeches on the day, it when something like this… “We have the antis or monitors or sabs or whatever you want to call them with us today. We will be trail hunting, we’ll be following the huntsman who is following the hounds who are following the trail. Do not provoke the sabs, remain polite and if you are getting annoyed keep it to yourself blah blah blah”. At this point the hunt who aren’t use to getting sabs needed to come up with a smokescreen…. thankfully for them somebody had a hanky on them so they could pretend to lay a trail. They tied the hanky to a piece of string, unfortunately this wasn’t a terribly good wheeze as the piece of string was barely long enough to reach the ground. The attempted smokescreen was shambolic even by the standards we usually witness. The harriers weren’t in the slightest bit interested in the “trail” ….
weren’t sniffing the ground, didn’t make a sound and didn’t even follow the line the “trail layer” had taken. One of the hunt supporters got a bit annoyed when asked “what scent are you using to lay the trail?” “I dunno!” He grunted.
As the riders tried to follow one of them fell off, this was just one of 3 or 4 times the same rider fell off. The hunt then attempted to hunt the first cover…. and the hounds took off as they rioted after deer. In doing so trespassing over land they had already been warned against go on by the landowner, the hounds then crossed a road through a stables and far from the huntsman who was frantically blowing his horn.
By now the landowner was rightfully furious at the trespassing hunt, another member of the public had also witnessed the hounds chasing the deer. The members of the public had called the police and surprise surprise the police couldn’t have cared less. Sabs were allowed on the land the hunt had trespassed on to retrieve the hounds. The huntsman blowing his horn for around 45minutes wondering where his hounds had gone and too scared to come any closer as he was fully aware he had no right being there. Once they’d gathered most their hounds, they headed back in the direction of the meeting point, stopping half way for another one of those inspirational speeches…. sadly by now some of riders had forgotten the first speech, one rider using their horse to barge into our vehicles then attempting to ride down a sab. The hunt then moved again back towards the meeting point, where a few riders went over a couple of jumps for the photographers, one of whom was also getting a little cranky, before they headed back to their horse boxes at 2.08pm just over 2hrs after setting off, and packed up after an absolutely embarrassing day out. Maybe the hunt will refund the riders?
Thank you all for all your support, this is our donations link https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-for-the-sabbing-season?sharetype=teams&member=16556241&pc=fb_co_campmgmt_m&rcid=r01-164176372607-089ff354f02b4518&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bshare-sheet