07/01/17 and 11/01/17 – Minehead Harriers

In the last couple of weeks we have had the pleasure of welcoming new sabs into our group, a great way to start a new calendar year. So we thought we would introduce them to the Minehead Harriers, who appear to be teetering on the brink of hunting oblivion with percievably fewer riders and followers every time we see them!
On Saturday 7th January, 8 riders ( half of these hunt staff!) showed up to their meet on the edge of their territory at Couple Cross (near Wheddon Cross) which also borders West Somerset Hunt territory (with whom we are getting mightily sick of as they continually block badger setts). A bit of a soggy day where sabs kept with the hunt all day, well we say all day but they were really only out for a couple of hours as they had packed up by 2pm with a descending fog as well as the presence of sabs dampening their spirits! A thankfully uneventful day was had, no terrier men were seen but Mrs Hunt Master kept her usual close vigil on the sab truck (she must have been a limpet in a previous life), and the usual crappy horseman (and woman)-ship with galloping on roads, hounds doing what they wanted and a few rude comments from hunt members and followers was all that occurred! A good day for wildlife.

On Wednesday 11th January the hunt met on National Trust land at Selworthy Farm, Selworthy. 7 riders and about the same number of car followers turned up for todays jolly….no sign of a trail layer but no sign of terriermen either. Just after 11.30am George and his crew scarpered up through Holnicote Combe towards the top of North Hill, a popular place for walkers with their doggies throughout the year. Previously the Minehead Harriers have been witnessed hunting along the special accessible walking trails – judging by some of the poor riding skills shown by certain hunt members we can only assume the easier trails were meant for them as well ! As we drove along the top of North Hill, walkers who weren’t keen on the company alerted us to where the hunt had popped out so we quickly located them, watching for a while as they wove through copses along the valley. We couldn’t get close but were able to film as George put his hounds into a copse at Old Brake (no way anyone put a trail through that!) and his small group of riders stayed watching from the hedgeline. As the hounds went through and out of the copse towards us they sent the flocks of sheep into a frenzied run as well as putting up several deer. It wasn’t long before the hounds were out, no foxes were seen and with nothing doing George took his hunt off the hill via Hindon Farm . We headed off to greet them and at about 1 they trundled towards home, crossing on the very busy A39 at Headon Cross then taking the scenic route through Great Headon Plantation back to the kennels. Lets hope the forecast cold and wintry weather arrives as expected, as it makes hunting very difficult and if bad enough scuppers it entirely.

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