Fearful but defiant, in the village where hunting is a way of life | UK news | The Guardian
It took place on and around Exmoor in Devon and Somerset, England. . MEETING OF THE TIVERTON STAGHOUNDS ON SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER Police probe claim of illegal hunting by Quantock Staghounds According to the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, which the league says has never been seen using more than two dogs at a time Paypal and credit card. Sunday sees the Devon & Somerset Staghounds meeting at picturesque James Rowe sponsors the fifth race on the card for Novice Riders.
Three traditional hunts continue to chase deer on horseback in Somerset and Devon, helped by hunt followers and quadbikers, and they can involve as many as people. Packs of hounds can still take part in trail hunting, where a sample of animal scent — usually fox or deer urine — is dragged across the countryside for the dogs to follow. Anti-hunt campaigners claim this is often used as a cover for illegal hunting.
Fearful but defiant, in the village where hunting is a way of life
Volunteers from the league who monitor the three hunts say that one, the Quantock Staghounds, regularly takes a large pack of hounds to chase a stag and hinds.
Darryl Cunnington, a retired police officer and league volunteer, said he had given wildlife officers at Avon and Somerset police a file of evidence from an incident on 22 January on the southern edge of the Quantock hills, near Bridgwater in Somerset. The hounds were not called off and may have been actively encouraged. Exford, more than any other place in the United Kingdom, relies on hunting for its economy.
This is the home of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and a number of foxhunting packs are based here or nearby. Evidence of hunting is everywhere. Horseboxes and Range Rovers with "Endangered Exmoor" car stickers are all around and the howling of the kennelled hounds can be heard in the distance. In the bar of the Exmoor White Horse, the walls are hung with hunting trophies, memorabilia and pictures of the hunt. A sign on the bar says "Hunting First: Here, hunting is in the blood.
Statistics vary but a large number of local people say they will be badly affected if hunting with hounds is banned.
Pro-hunting lobby groups assert that it will bring about the end of the rural way of life, that countless people will be made unemployed. The Countryside Alliance claims that 16, jobs would be lost but the Burns report is expected to put the number much lower: Most of those will be concentrated in the south-west, the report will say.
Jeanette Branton is the owner of the village livery yard behind the Exmoor White Horse and a founder member of Endangered Exmoor, which campaigns primarily for the preservation of hunting. Sitting in the tack room amid cartons of hoof oil, tins of saddle waxes and rows of tack, she says: I rent the yard from Lord Townsend on an annual basis and I wouldn't carry on doing that. I just wouldn't have a business any more.
Preview:Devon and Somerset Staghounds at Holnicote
During the hunting season - Exford's is a long one at nine months - she employs two local girls full- time and another two part-time. We have got a blacksmith, a village school.
Ed Walker has an interesting newcomer in the five year old Wallabrook who is out of four-time Point winner, Lady Misprint. He could be worth a look at in the paddock. The Porter Dodson sponsored Mixed Open sees a fascinating contest. All Great N Theory was unlucky to bump into the high-class Carlton Ryan last time having scored facile wins at Bangor and Brocklesby Park earlier in the season for trainer Julie Marles.
He may however not appreciate the drying ground as much as some.
Bathwick Scanno, has six Point wins to his name including two at last season at Holnicote within a week. This admirably tough gelding that is trained by Teresa Clark, is popular with the crowds and sure to have his supporters.
Jack Barber has the quality but fragile Chapoturgeon and Benedictus who was also a course winner last season and has two wins to his name this season including a Taunton Hunter Chase last time. Imperial Circus made the most of an enterprising ride from Nick Lawton to win the Members at Cothelstone.
Staghunting - acigawis
He may have found the four miles stretching his stamina next time out at Flete Park. Steeltown has been in sparking form this spring for Kayley Woollacott completing a hat-trick by easily winning the Novice Hunter Chase at Newton Abbot last time.
Trained by Teresa Clark he parted company with his rider early on at Stafford Cross after a hat-trick of seconds.