Video/gallery/poll: Hundreds turn out to see Essex and Suffolk hunt gather in Hadleigh for annual Boxing Day meet

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the Hadleigh Boxing Day Hunt. Hundreds of people gathered to watch the Hadleigh Boxing Day Hunt.

Thursday, December 26, 2013
4:52 PM

Hundreds of people were drawn to a field in Hadleigh today to watch the traditional Boxing Day hunt.

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The Essex and Suffolk Hunt gathered on land not far from Hadleigh United Football Club where they were joined by hundreds of spectators.

Over 20 riders of all ages mingled and chatted with the crowds for over an hour before riding off around 11.30.

Senior master of the Essex and Suffolk foxhounds James Buckle was pleased with the support shown for the hunt, as well as the continued interest in participating from younger generations.

Mr Buckle said: “On Boxing Day all of Hadleigh turn out, it’s lovely, very gratifying.

“If we turn up here and we’re on our own, then I’d worry about what we were doing but when we get this level of support I’m pretty relaxed about it.

“I’ve been master here for 20 years now and I’ve been hunting since I was a little kid.

“We’ve got the whole spectrum, the kids are always overtaking me, its lovely to see.

“There’s definitely an appetite for it. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who’s in any doubt that we’re going to continue.”

His sentiments were echoed by the hunt’s terrier man Rob Cundy who’s been involved in hunts for 20 years.

He said: “It’s (hunting) vitally important for the preservation of the countryside.

“Lots of lads and young people come out with us. We’re really well supported everywhere we go, it’s absolutely vital.”

Barry Thorpe, who had come to watch the hunt from Elmsett said it was a chance for friends to meet up during the festive period.

Mr Thorpe said: “It’s a social occasion. You bump into people who’ve come out after Christmas, get some fresh air into your lungs.

“It’s a traditional part of country life and I don’t see why anyone would want to change it.

“I think it’s important to carry on the tradition. Look at the turn out here today in support of it all. I think it’s good.”

The Countryside Alliance said more than a quarter of a million people turned out at Boxing Day hunts with some meets attracting over 5,000.

Capt Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt at Worcester Lodge in Didmarton, Gloucestershire, said: “Once again we were delighted by the tremendous support from the thousands of people who turned out to show their support for the hounds and horses and to support the farmers who are the backbone of the countryside.

“We met in the hope that common sense will prevail.”

Waveney Harriers also held a hunt in Bungay and crowds lining Earsham Street were three deep in what was described as one of the most impressive turnouts in years.

8 comments

  • Re Pc Plod message. Is there any hope he might try really, really hard, and next time submit something a little more worthwhile. I think the moderators, whoever they are, are very moderate!

    Report this comment

    Roberta

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • As the great Oscar Wilde described it: "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable".

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • What is wrong with the mind of a human who gets turned on by animal cruelty. What other innocents have been tortured by these sadistic sub-humans for fun? They are damaged individuals. We must be careful what we teach our children, and they should know that animal cruelty is wrong.

    Report this comment

    KevinAntJones

    Friday, December 27, 2013

  • I hope these toffs are in favour of dog fighting and cock fighting. Or are only posh people allowed to enjoy animals killing & maiming each other?

    Report this comment

    James Lakin

    Monday, December 30, 2013

  • Isn't it still illegal? Have I missed something?? Poor fox...

    Report this comment

    Fi, Stowmarket

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • Not 'fun' but the 'done thing' in the countryside for hundreds of years. Do I agree with it, I don't honestly know, but at least the fox gets a chance. Around here farmers have culled them by shooting them or gassing them in their den's using the exhaust of an old Land Rover. Is that any better? Too many people are too eager to change the ways of others, because they don't agree with what they are doing. And of course those who shout loudest always seem to be the victors. When in Rome (or the countryside) comes to mind.

    Report this comment

    Dean

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • There has to be something VERY sick in the mind of the sort of person who thinks it's fun to inflict the kind of suffering to an animal that being ripped to pieces by a pack of hounds causes.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • This is quite possibly the most boring non-article about Hadleigh I have ever read. Does anyone actually care? Horse riders taking their dogs out for a walk. Yawn!

    Report this comment

    MrDiddle

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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