The campaign to close the Cottesmore Hunt has now reached five seasons. That is five seasons of sabbing them on every Saturday and a hefty number of their midweek meets. So to mark this occasion Northants Hunt Saboteurs decided to crank things up and hit the Cottesmore this past week at five of their meets for the Cottesmore – Week of action!
The start would see us hold a demonstration at their ‘fun ride’ fundraising event on the Sunday, which is an important part of the campaign and we continue to commit ourselves to these events. Monday saw us rock up in the pouring rain at their very small and secretive cubbing meet in Stainby and to lay down an early marker. Blatant cubbing was on show as sabs shadowed their every move and saw one fox to safety.
Their meet for Tuesday was held at traditional ‘Tuesday country’ in Burrough on the Hill. With only four sabs we managed to once again give Cottesmore Huntsman Sam Jones no room to breath and kept with him all morning, forcing them to pack up over an hour earlier than the previous day. Strained relations were clearly visible as Sam and his new Whipper in, Owen Riley, exchanged feisty words with one another.
With Wednesday being a local hound exercise, Thursday would see us return for three meets in a row as we were joined by our friends Hertfordshire sabs at their meet in Bulby. With only six riders the Cottesmore tried desperately to cub hunt and hold up various patches of maize. We were able to see a second fox of the week to safety as our team of two stepped in to mask the scent and film this fox fleeing across the open fields.
With yet more reliable intel to suggest they had gone out on Friday, we were more than ready come Saturday Morning. With only their huntsman and one ex master to their name, the Cottesmore slipped out for the morning in Owston as Sam Jones hunted the hounds on his own for just over two hours. Another fox was captured on film on the move away from nearby danger. Some good sabbing was on display, as our hornblower was able to take charge and split the Cottesmore pack slowing Sam down and reminding him of what we can do.
A bizarre morning but we’re no fools. The Cottesmore were actually stupid enough to think they could out do us by planning a 4pm meet later that day in Somerby. What they fail to acknowledge is that we have a very good line of information on them and we were able to be one step ahead of the game in preparing a team to head straight back for the 4pm kick off….and kick off it did! This was clearly an attempted showpiece meet, which saw a gathering of hunt followers from local packs who fancied a sunny Saturday evening of cub hunting. With Hertfordshire sabs and a welcomed visitor from the Peterborough division, we burst onto the hunting fields to wipe the smile clean off the Cottesmore!
Sabs stuck right with huntsman and hounds for the first two hours before things turned nasty. Local Cottesmore supporters then cornered our vehicle down a country lane and began laying into one sab who stepped out to film. What they didn’t expect though was the doors of our motor to fling open and a flurry of sabs to stand toe to toe with them. One sab was punched to the floor and another had camera equipment damaged but by standing as one unit we eventually saw off this bunch of thugs. Sabs kept in there and stayed to see the Cottesmore pack up and piss off for the final time of the week!
In summary we have the Cottesmore on the run. The fact that they had to finish the week on a violent note proves to all just how frustrated they have become. Internal politics along with a consistent sab presence is seeing this prestigious shire pack buckle. The Cottesmore have been hammered over the last five seasons and have given out their fair share of beatings to us also. We acknowledge this and use it as a strength. We have never shied away from our intentions and have always made it publicly clear that we are here to win. We will close the Cottesmore once and for all and this past week was purposely done to prove to them just how much we mean it.