Brighton Hunt Sabs were back out again this Saturday, having just got over last week’s epic trip to Dartmoor. We visited the Old Surrey and Burstow hunt again, who’s huntsman was in the news recently after hitting one of our sabs and shaking hands with yucky UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
The hunt met to the East of Kempsing, only just outside the M25. We kept with them as they went on a couple of pointless circuits, probably to show off some new jumps to the handful of riders following. Later they did a
bit of lacklustre trail hunting but with us never far behind the huntsman didn’t have much chance for fox hunting. After we had to run up one hill too many and wade through the slurry from a dairy farm, we lost the hunt for a bit. But it wasn’t too long then before they packed up and we all went home happy enough, except for not having any cake!
A hunt supporter accosts sabs on the horizon
Mark Bycroft and Nigel Farage
It is a shame you can’t be everywhere at once. Whilst we were quite happily (hmm?) sabbing the Crawley and Horsham hunt, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage was shaking hands with the violent Burstow huntsman Mark Bycroft. You can read about that in Schnews. Only a couple of weeks ago Bycroft punched a sab and was arrested for it a week later. Video of the assault.
Meanwhile,this week Brighton Sabs met up with our friends from Croydon, Hastings and West Sussex to put another nail in the coffin of the ailing Crawley and Horsham hunt. Most hunts have prestigious Boxing Day meets in town centres but these days the Crawley and Horsham meet at a shit pub in the middle of nowhere. (The Countryman, Shipley) They laid a trail to the North East, in the Knepp Estate, and promptly set off in the opposite direction, where we sabbed them. Later, they did ride through Knepp but couldn’t stop to hunt as there were sabs coming at them from all sides.
Sabs on both sides of the hunt
In the afternoon, the few hunters still going went north to exactly the same area we sabbed them in last Saturday. We lost them for a bit but found them in time to call the hounds off a fox. Some hunt supporters did some very aggressive driving and followed us around, even on our way home.
We had a good post-Christmas selection of vegan cakes but the fridge cake was the favourite. We’ll be back out on Saturday, as we are every week, saving wildlife. Come with us if you like foxes and cake!
and it wasn’t a good start for him!
Brighton Hunt Sabs hooked up with our usual friends to stop the Southdown and Eridge Hunt at their opening meet. We stood up on the Downs above the meet at Firle Park, from where we called the hounds away from the huntsman. Easy as pie, we had about 10 hounds with us in no time. (They can run up the steep hill an awful lot better than any of us!) The hunt had to spend the next hour or so getting them back instead of hunting. Some of the supporters even had to run around catching the stray hounds to take them back to the huntsman.
Next the police turned up and the first sighting of a false trail being laid. What a coincidence! The hunt came up onto the Downs at the Bo Peep car park and galloped west at high speed. (Not hunting). Before too long we had found them but not without getting drenched in an incredible rain storm on the way. No way the hounds were finding any scent during that, and all but the most dementedly bloodthirsty riders went home. So having got a little west of the radio masts, the huntsman then rode back to the east at high speed, tried to hunt just a little more and then gave up. Leaving us free to go home. Not a lot of chance to hunt for your first day on the job.
While we’ve still been active in the badger cull zones, Brighton Hunt Sabs have also been getting up early early to stop fox cubs getting killed.
Today we joined the Crawley and Horsham Hunt at their meet just west of Balcombe. After the huntsman’s recent guilty plea and conviction for illegal hunting with dogs he has been a little jumpy with the ‘anti’s’ and at one point in an attempt to shake us the hunt pretended they had already been hunting very early in the morning, so early that they were apparently riding by torch light in the dark
Throughout the day the hunt and the huntsman was in disarray with the day ending in hounds being spread and roaming across a square mile and needing to be collected by hunt staff in half a dozen 4x4s. After the hunt eventually collected the hounds they decided enough was enough and sulked back to the meet
Successful day. No kills.
We’ll be back out every week saving lives. Get in touch if you want to come too.
South Downs Hunt Sabs went up to the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt today, finding them on their best behaviour. The meet was at Charcott and they laid and followed false trails first going north east then doubling back and heading up towards Hurst Green. The huntsman, Mark Bycroft, was at his most friendly, telling us which way he was planning to go next. He is an odd character and is known to often flip, in an instant, from friendly to total blind fury. Near Hurst Green, he seemed to be hunting the hounds for real in a wood. Sabs took the hounds out the wood using horns and voice calls and took them for a little jaunt across the field. When Bycroft caught up, he was amazingly jovial about it and challenged sabs to a horn blowing competition. He even let his favourite hunt sab blow his precious horn. (He says he likes ‘the old school’) It’s a shame one supporter didn’t quite get the spirit of things and took a swipe at our landrover out on the road.
After quite some time of edgy friendly bantering, the hunt moved off again on a trail which took them back to Charcott, where they packed up.
So, as is sab tradition, we ate cakes (and treacle tart today too) and went home. Several sabs noticed the hounds were in rather poor condition.
Apologies for the gap in posts. We have been pretty busy, sabbing on New Year’s Day as well as each Saturday.
Last Saturday (12th) South Downs Sabs joined our friends to sab a joint meet of the Crawley and Horsham with the Chiddingfold hunt. They didn’t have a big turn out for a joint meet. They met at Trawlers Farm near Dragon’s Green. The hunt spent much of the day trying to run off when sabs appeared but with groups of us in every direction the hunt didn’t have much chance. At one point the pack of hounds split in two, chasing two foxes at the same time in a densely wooded area. Different groups of sabs successfully stopped hounds on both scents, with both foxes having a narrow but lucky escape. There were several incidents with very aggressive and arrogant riders, including the riders attempting to whip sabs. Later in the day, the hunt got out a false scent and laid that through open fields. They packed up pretty early too.
We went to the Southdown and Eridge Hunt to check whether they’ve started hunting but they just took the hounds out for a quick walk, like last week. So we headed over to the Crawley and Horsham, who met at Partridge Green. When we arrived they were in fields near Partridge Green. As soon as we turned up they headed for the track and trotted straight back to the kennels, with no hunting. There were maybe about30 riders, which is a lot for this time of year. So with the hounds back in the kennels, we headed home for some breakfast.
A large number of South Downs Sabs joined others at an evening meet of the Surrey Union Hunt. It was a meet especially for those new to hunting, which was largely children on ponies with domineering parents. It was not a realistic intro to hunting as they simply trotted up the road to a field, did some jumps in the field and trotted back to the kennels.
The police were being quite polite to us for the first ten minutes or so, but then reverted to their normal Surrey style. Several car loads of officers turned up, enforcing an invalid order to remove face coverings, arresting one sab on entirely spurious charges and refusing to listen to anything we had to say. This was without us actually doing any sabbing. Read more about the arrest from our friends at Schnews. The policing was blatantly biased and you could really see how much contempt some of the officers had for us. But that’s fine as we don’t much care for them either!
South Downs Sabs are not hugely surprised to find that someone who habitually slaughters wildlife, attacks saboteurs and disregards the law is also involved in ripping up the countryside in a dubious hunt for yet more profit. Simon Greenwood, a joint master of the Crawley and Horsham hunt, is the landowner behind the highly controversial application for fracking in Balcombe, West Sussex.
With companies increasingly desperate to extract every last morsel of fossil fuels, fracking is an extreme and dangerous method to release gas trapped underground. It involves millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals being pumped underground at high pressure to crack rock apart. In Lancashire this has caused earthquakes and in the USA it’s caused serious contamination of the water supply, which is a definite concern in Balcombe.
However, when the county council first asked the parish council if they had any objections they raised none, with barely a single line written in the minutes of their meeting about it. Strange, until you find that the very same Simon Greenwood is on the parish council and failed to mention he has an ‘interest’ in the proposal. Luckily, local residents have now forced the council into consulting them about what they think.
And the Countryside Alliance types say they must keep hunting and shooting because they’re “guardians of the countryside.” Yeah right!
There’s massive local opposition to the fracking proposal, with the website at http://gasdrillinginbalcombe.wordpress.com/
More about fracking and the fight against it at www.frack-off.org