Hunt sabs in the South East are today celebrating the demise of yet another fox hunt. Days after confirmation that Kent’s last two fox hunts had merged into one, the same has now been confirmed for Sussex’s last two packs.
The East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt have supposedly ‘amalgamated’ with the South Down & Eridge Hunt to form the catchily-titled ‘ESRM with South Down & Eridge Hunt’. In reality, this is not an amalgamation but the folding of the ESRM who have lost their kennelling and been sabbed for decades by sabs from South Coast and Kent.
These ‘amalgamations’ are rarely happy affairs, with resentments and rivalries simmering beneath the surface. The unwieldy names often adopted by merged hunts are a symptom of this, with rival groups of supporters insisting that their old hunt’s name be featured in the title.
Absurdly, the Countryside Alliance try to spin the merging of hunts as a positive thing, evidence that hunting is adapting to the modern world. For once, the HSA agrees – it is indeed a positive that there are now just two fox hunts in the South East when, just twenty years ago, there were eight!
Local sabs now look forward to focussing their resources on the two remaining hunts. South Coast sabs commented,
“It is with much excitement and still some disbelief that we announce that the absolutely repulsive East Sussex & Romney Marsh have disbanded. They have amalgamated with the Southdown & Eridge at Ringmer. This means another pack of hounds gone from rampaging and terrorising innocent creatures that are just trying to survive.
We have been focusing on this hunt in recent years and have observed their increasingly secretive behaviour, a steadily shrinking territory and a small gathering of riders which can only be described as a private hunting party.
Thank you so much to all of you who support us, and please could we ask you to keep supporting us as it’s cubbing season and they will be wanting to do the unthinkable with their vile Southdown buddies. Please donate towards fuel if you can and please keep eyes and ears open for sounds of hounds in cry or riders gathering at first light.“
Reacting to the news, an emotional Kent sab commented,
“The Southdown, the Eridge, the East Sussex, the Romney Marsh, the Ashford Valley, the Tickham, the East Kent, and finally, the West Street foxhounds. All of these were originally foxhound packs in Kent but today there are only TWO packs of hounds in the South East.
In my 30 or so years of involvement with the HSA, I have sabbed them all, as have many of my friends. Over the years, we have suffered violence from the hunts that a football hooligan would blanch at, pro hunt policing that should have launched a public enquiry, but we never, ever gave up.
Their refusal to obey the Hunting Act, the advent of footage shown on social media, the drone etc…has been their undoing. And its happening fast. Faster than they can cope with.
For every kick, punch, being ridden down, driven at, spat on, the long arm of the law making arrest a weekly occurrence… let alone witnessing their joy when they killed-we never EVER gave up. And now-we got ya. More sab groups than hunts in the South East. Feels good? You betcha!”