Tally ho to keeping up the hunt tradition

Bury Times: Action from yesterday’s Holcombe Hunt. Pictures by Steve Holt Action from yesterday’s Holcombe Hunt. Pictures by Steve Holt

HUNDREDS of spectators gathered to watch this year’s traditional Boxing Day Holcombe Hunt at Rivington Hall Barn.

Families braved the cold and trekked up to the barn where 70 horses and their riders assembled to circle the field before starting their two-and-a-half hour ride across the countryside.

The Holcombe Hunt, which is a harriers pack and hunted hares, is one of the oldest in the country and dates back to 1086.

The hunt’s hounds are believed to be direct descendents of the Blue Gascoignes, who were brought across the Channel by the Normans.

In 2004 the Hunting Act banned hunting foxes and hare with a pack of hounds so they now follow a scent.

Master Sue Simmons, aged 48, has been hunting for 20 years and is proud to be a part of one of the oldest hunts in Britain.

She said: “Today we still have the lineage from the blue mottled Chien de Gascoignes family Normandy hounds.

“I'm an equestrian and compete in a variety of competitions such as show jumping.

“I’ve been hunting for 20 years now so I have seen the hunt act come into place, which the hounds have adapted to.”

Louise Blundell, aged 27, works at Smithills Open Farm and this was her fifth hunt. She said: "I have been riding since I was three years old and this is my fifth season hunting. I always wanted to do it so I bit the bullet and now I come every year.

“It won’t be a long day because this is the first time a lot of the horses have come out for a while so they won’t be as fit. It will be more of a taster."

Spectators Margaret and Albert McEwan, from Middle Hulton, have been watching the hunt since the 1980s with their children.

Mrs McEwan, aged 72, said: “We used to come up each year without fail in the 1980s.

“It was a meeting place where everybody would come together and have a day out. It’s also a good way to walk off the Christmas dinner.”

Last year a 64-year-old rider suffered a head injury when one of the horses knocked her over and stepped on her head, leading to a rescue by the air ambulance.

Edward Booth, aged 19, said this may have put some riders off.

“Last year there were 88 hunters but this year I think it’s closer to 70. Unfortunately I think some may have been put off after last year when a rider fell and an air ambulance had to be called to rescue her,” he said.

The Countryside Alliance said more than 250,000 people joined in nationally with this year’s traditional Boxing Day hunts.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:43pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Beyond News Forum says...

Tally ho??? Are you at the BN supporting this barbaric primitive blood-sport?

Not a word of cynicism, critique or disgust from the BN reporter.

Sicko's.

How about we set up a pack hunt on those participating? No thought not... humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals.

There are more humane forms of fox control... what a bunch of posh toff arrogant shyte!
Tally ho??? Are you at the BN supporting this barbaric primitive blood-sport? Not a word of cynicism, critique or disgust from the BN reporter. Sicko's. How about we set up a pack hunt on those participating? No thought not... humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals. There are more humane forms of fox control... what a bunch of posh toff arrogant shyte! Beyond News Forum

12:44pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Beyond News Forum says...

And watching this barbaric spectacle with your kids??? Are you kidding me? Abuse much?
And watching this barbaric spectacle with your kids??? Are you kidding me? Abuse much? Beyond News Forum

1:38pm Fri 27 Dec 13

mr.mark.c says...

They dont actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004, so how can it be barbaric ?
They dont actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004, so how can it be barbaric ? mr.mark.c

5:30pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Babbar Divino says...

mr.mark.c wrote:
They dont actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004, so how can it be barbaric ?
Shhh don't tell him
[quote][p][bold]mr.mark.c[/bold] wrote: They dont actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004, so how can it be barbaric ?[/p][/quote]Shhh don't tell him Babbar Divino

6:57pm Fri 27 Dec 13

keithyno.1 says...

I'm no friend of hunting and wouldn't ever particularly want to be associated with it and its followers, but the highly emotional, ill-informed rant from 'Beyond News Forum' above is beyond belief!

All that stuff about "this barbaric primitive blood-sport," "humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals" and "there are more humane forms of fox control," makes me wonder, are you just THICK or what?

As 'mr.mark.c' points out, they don't actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004 (as it's illegal).

You know what worries me? That people like 'Beyond News Forum,' with their ignorant, ill-informed view of the world, are actually able to vote and have an influence on MY life......
I'm no friend of hunting and wouldn't ever particularly want to be associated with it and its followers, but the highly emotional, ill-informed rant from 'Beyond News Forum' above is beyond belief! All that stuff about "this barbaric primitive blood-sport," "humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals" and "there are more humane forms of fox control," makes me wonder, are you just THICK or what? As 'mr.mark.c' points out, they don't actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004 (as it's illegal). You know what worries me? That people like 'Beyond News Forum,' with their ignorant, ill-informed view of the world, are actually able to vote and have an influence on MY life...... keithyno.1

7:48pm Fri 27 Dec 13

fellwalker212 says...

I was at rivington with a walking group, among us were 8 children. we were horrified when the hunt came bursting through at speed with no regard for any of us walkers.
I had to stand in ther way to slow them down. the actions of the hunt were despicable. if it comes to it I will put a call out to my old friends from the hunt saboteur group.
I was at rivington with a walking group, among us were 8 children. we were horrified when the hunt came bursting through at speed with no regard for any of us walkers. I had to stand in ther way to slow them down. the actions of the hunt were despicable. if it comes to it I will put a call out to my old friends from the hunt saboteur group. fellwalker212

9:13pm Fri 27 Dec 13

aardwolf says...

Almost twice as many foxes are killed by the hunt now than before the ban. What happens is that the dogs (oops sorry, hounds) flush the foxes out which are then shot. Of course there is the pretence of the scent trail which almost inevitably but totally coincidentally (!) leads the pack to the fox. A cleverer person than me once said that if the the thrill of the hunt was in the chase then you would be happy with a photograph at the end. The truth is, of course, that the thrill these revolting people have is for the kill, the blood and the baying of the hounds. Hunt supporters still say that a fox being torn to pieces by a pack of dogs after collapsing from exhaustion is a humane death. Odd then that of all the countries that have a death penalty for humans that not one offers the option of death by dogs!!
Almost twice as many foxes are killed by the hunt now than before the ban. What happens is that the dogs (oops sorry, hounds) flush the foxes out which are then shot. Of course there is the pretence of the scent trail which almost inevitably but totally coincidentally (!) leads the pack to the fox. A cleverer person than me once said that if the the thrill of the hunt was in the chase then you would be happy with a photograph at the end. The truth is, of course, that the thrill these revolting people have is for the kill, the blood and the baying of the hounds. Hunt supporters still say that a fox being torn to pieces by a pack of dogs after collapsing from exhaustion is a humane death. Odd then that of all the countries that have a death penalty for humans that not one offers the option of death by dogs!! aardwolf

9:16pm Fri 27 Dec 13

aardwolf says...

keithyno.1 wrote:
I'm no friend of hunting and wouldn't ever particularly want to be associated with it and its followers, but the highly emotional, ill-informed rant from 'Beyond News Forum' above is beyond belief!

All that stuff about "this barbaric primitive blood-sport," "humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals" and "there are more humane forms of fox control," makes me wonder, are you just THICK or what?

As 'mr.mark.c' points out, they don't actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004 (as it's illegal).

You know what worries me? That people like 'Beyond News Forum,' with their ignorant, ill-informed view of the world, are actually able to vote and have an influence on MY life......
That you actually believe that these fancy dress clowns don't actually hunt animals depite the so-called ban shows the limits of your intellect I'm afraid.
[quote][p][bold]keithyno.1[/bold] wrote: I'm no friend of hunting and wouldn't ever particularly want to be associated with it and its followers, but the highly emotional, ill-informed rant from 'Beyond News Forum' above is beyond belief! All that stuff about "this barbaric primitive blood-sport," "humans at their lowest form of scumbagism picking on defenseless animals" and "there are more humane forms of fox control," makes me wonder, are you just THICK or what? As 'mr.mark.c' points out, they don't actually hunt any animals and have not since 2004 (as it's illegal). You know what worries me? That people like 'Beyond News Forum,' with their ignorant, ill-informed view of the world, are actually able to vote and have an influence on MY life......[/p][/quote]That you actually believe that these fancy dress clowns don't actually hunt animals depite the so-called ban shows the limits of your intellect I'm afraid. aardwolf

8:07pm Sat 28 Dec 13

trytobesensibleaboutit says...

I hope all those spectators remembered to tug their forelocks as they passed. They expect due deference as they carry out their right to 'hunt'
I hope all those spectators remembered to tug their forelocks as they passed. They expect due deference as they carry out their right to 'hunt' trytobesensibleaboutit

8:26pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Hunt Sabs says...

In the run-up to hunting's big 'traditional Boxing Day' show piece, sabs from Manchester and Liverpool witnessed first hand the reality of post ban hunting at a meet of the Holcombe Hunt on Saturday 21st December. The hunt, who traditionally hunt hares, met at Brindle.

Sabs followed closely for two hours both on foot and from the road. At around 2pm the hunt got on to the scent of a hare, chased and killed it.

The protesters, whilst close to the kill, were too far away to have time to intervene to save the poor animal.

The traditional hunt apologist line that hunted animals are killed swiftly by a quick nip to the neck was, as always, proved a complete lie as the hare was seized by two hounds and torn open. Footage and images from the day were taken and the crime reported to the police.

A spokesperson for the sabs said: 'We see again and again while out following hunts that they regularly ignore the law. Here the Holcombe Hunt were making a feeble attempt to stay within the law by hunting a nominal trail. The reality is the complete lack of control the huntsman exerts over his pack makes this redundant. We will continue to follow this hunt and others, filming their illegal activities and, when necessary, intervening to save the hunted animal.

We urge the police to take a long hard look at what happened and at the activities of this hunt generally. If the hunt cannot or will not properly follow a trail, maybe it's time they disbanded completely.'
In the run-up to hunting's big 'traditional Boxing Day' show piece, sabs from Manchester and Liverpool witnessed first hand the reality of post ban hunting at a meet of the Holcombe Hunt on Saturday 21st December. The hunt, who traditionally hunt hares, met at Brindle. Sabs followed closely for two hours both on foot and from the road. At around 2pm the hunt got on to the scent of a hare, chased and killed it. The protesters, whilst close to the kill, were too far away to have time to intervene to save the poor animal. The traditional hunt apologist line that hunted animals are killed swiftly by a quick nip to the neck was, as always, proved a complete lie as the hare was seized by two hounds and torn open. Footage and images from the day were taken and the crime reported to the police. A spokesperson for the sabs said: 'We see again and again while out following hunts that they regularly ignore the law. Here the Holcombe Hunt were making a feeble attempt to stay within the law by hunting a nominal trail. The reality is the complete lack of control the huntsman exerts over his pack makes this redundant. We will continue to follow this hunt and others, filming their illegal activities and, when necessary, intervening to save the hunted animal. We urge the police to take a long hard look at what happened and at the activities of this hunt generally. If the hunt cannot or will not properly follow a trail, maybe it's time they disbanded completely.' Hunt Sabs

10:22pm Sat 28 Dec 13

fellwalker212 says...

think it is time high profile action is used again like back in the 90's.
think it is time high profile action is used again like back in the 90's. fellwalker212

12:00am Sun 29 Dec 13

mr.mark.c says...

I take it some of you are also anti 4x4 without knowing facts, I am anti rambler as they destroy the countryside not 4x4's or horses.
I take it some of you are also anti 4x4 without knowing facts, I am anti rambler as they destroy the countryside not 4x4's or horses. mr.mark.c

12:13am Sun 29 Dec 13

fellwalker212 says...

mr.mark.c wrote:
I take it some of you are also anti 4x4 without knowing facts, I am anti rambler as they destroy the countryside not 4x4's or horses.
I'm not a rambler by any shape or form. iv nothing against horses, it's the ignorance of SOME riders. I love nothing better than a afternoon mud plugging, or standing at the summit after a challengeing climb up a mountain.
lets all enjoy the country and don't spoil it for other's.
[quote][p][bold]mr.mark.c[/bold] wrote: I take it some of you are also anti 4x4 without knowing facts, I am anti rambler as they destroy the countryside not 4x4's or horses.[/p][/quote]I'm not a rambler by any shape or form. iv nothing against horses, it's the ignorance of SOME riders. I love nothing better than a afternoon mud plugging, or standing at the summit after a challengeing climb up a mountain. lets all enjoy the country and don't spoil it for other's. fellwalker212

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree