As many of you may have heard by now our plan to rid ourselves of the saboteurs has failed and with it any hope of bringing back the good old days.
After several meetings with Leicestershire Police last summer we decided to make up some allegations that we felt threatened and intimidated by the swearing, shouting and threats coming from one of the saboteurs. We brought in expert liar Mike Lane as our new huntsman and joint master and we felt that he was the best person to make the initial complaint to the police due to the excellent lies he has told at his previous hunt. He was backed up and assisted by Mark Halford who we brought in to help with our public relations and the negative image we seem to have acquired. We were told by Leicestershire Police that our case would be stronger if we had one more person make a statement so our kennelman Oliver Hope stepped up and helped us out.
Leicestershire Police continue to have our best interests at heart and hate the saboteurs almost as much as we do (without the saboteurs constantly showing them up they wouldn’t have to pretend to show any interest in stopping fox hunting) We believe they tried their hardest to push this prosecution all the way and despite them telling us it was a fool proof plan they may have overlooked the fact that it wasn’t an Atherstone Hunt proof plan.
For some reason we all believed that one of the saboteur groups best know for filming everything had somehow not filmed anything at all on this particular day. Mike Lane found out how wrong we were and had a hard time on the stand (he rushed out to the toilets to text the other two to warn them once he had finished) There was footage and it completely disproved our story.
Mr Halford tried his hardest to lie his way out of trouble on the stand but couldn’t pull it off and sound believable. Mr Halford may have overdone it a bit by claiming he believed the saboteurs had bugged his phone. Being a huntsman who hunts foxes we are still not sure why Mr Lane decided to claim he found a picture of a dead fox upsetting. And we can’t begin to imagine why Mr Hope told the court that he feared for the safety of his wife and children who he then went on to say weren’t even present on that day.
Lets not blame Leicestershire Police for this failure as we only have ourselves to blame for this one, like I said it may have been fool proof but wasn’t quite Atherstone Hunt proof. We should be grateful for the continued support from Leicestershire Police who have many officers who continue to enjoy riding to hounds.
If we want to blame anyone then blame Mr Halford, he came here promising us he would save us from the antis with his talk of injunctions, instead this has turned out to be a very embarrassing episode for us and he has dragged our hunts name through the mire once more. Mr Halford is no longer on our board of directors which I know many of you will be pleased to hear.
I know we promised many of you at the start of the season that for one season only we would try our hardest to stay out of trouble and look like we were trail hunting. After one season we hoped we would be rid of the saboteurs and could carry on where we left off 5 years ago before the saboteurs showed up. We made the same promise to our new huntsman Bill Bishop who may now regret coming here. Although rent-a-huntsman Bill never stays at any hunt long I’m sure he can put up with us for a season. Lets face it he can’t be any worse than Mr Lane, we may even keep control of our hounds for an entire meet this coming season.
All we can do now is to have faith in Leicestershire Police and their commitment to country sports and hope that one day they rid us of the antis.