16/11/16 and 19/11/16 – Minehead Harriers and Axe Vale Harriers

Whilst the weather has changed to something more seasonally appropriate over the past week or so , other things remain the same such as the pretence to trail hunt by many hunts despite the continual presence of equipped terriermen! We paid another brief midweek visit to the Minehead Harriers, who we are told, via the grapevine, are not planning any meets in advance this season but deciding the day before and nothing planned on National Trust land! So, we can only conclude that they do not wish to hunt within the law and in accordance with the terms of their National Trust License but would rather sneak around hunting foxes with their terriermen in tow.

On Wednesday 16th November they met at Knowle Manor near Dunster, again just a stones throw from their kennels…after setting off out the back of the manor they headed up to the woods below Grabhist…unfortunately the hounds didn’t want to wait for instructions and scarpered off up the bank almost immediately leaving George and the Whipper In to give chase trying to call them back. It was quite amusing, not for the horses and other livestock being spooked in the nearby fields but again we couldn’t stay long but will be back very soon I am sure for a longer visit.

On Saturday 19th November we met up with our friends from Devon County Hunt Saboteurs for a trip to the seaside, well almost anyway – we were very close to the picturesque coastline around Lyme Regis to greet the Axe Vale Harriers who were meeting at Pinhay Farm just off the A3052 west of Lyme Regis. A fairly large field of about 30 (although many were children) set off just after 11.30 and initially headed west then north to spend the next three hours circling a small area around a disused railray line near Combpyne.

For most of the time the followers and riders were fairly well behaved but in the early afternoon their tempers frayed, and one sab landy was followed throughout by a couple with a young child in the back of their car (the woman and child wearing masks – what on earth that does to the psyche of the child we dread to think). The rider pictured was particularly foul mouthed so we thought we would share his best side! A sab driver was subjected to very aggressive and threatening behaviour and had a radio forced from his hand causing bruising. The theif was in the vehicle pictured with a “I’m going hunting ” logo on the back window as well as an AVH Supporter wheel cover – they must be very proud to have such quality support (some film of this guy will be shown later).

We had the hunt within sight and sound most of the day with hounds often speaking. We did see a trail runner with a yellow rag hanging around a hedge at one point but he soon disappeared. Just as the hunt were on their final circuit and heading towards Higher Bruckland Farm to box up, a last draw of the gorse edging Burrow copse saw a fox break, with the hounds on its tail we were in a safe position to use the gizmo to confuse the pack enough allow the fox to make escape . The day was fairly short but not too sweet and the unwelcoming behaviour of this hunt , particularly from its supporters, ensures we will look forward to visiting them again.



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