School Boy Error: Yorkshire School Hosts Illegal Hare Hunt

Hunt sabs accompany huntsman back to the meet. © East Coast Hunt Sabs

Last Wednesday, sabs from Calder Valley, Sheffield and East Yorkshire Coast hit the very elusive Catterick Beagles. Sabs were shocked to find the meet was hosted by Aysgarth School, a posh prep school in Newton le Willows, North Yorkshire.

Hunt sabs accompany huntsman back to the meet. © East Coast Hunt Sabs

Spotting the tell-tale sign of tweed-clad pensioners staring blankly into a field, sabs rushed into the fields opposite the entrance to the school to find the pack of hounds openly hunting a hare in a large circle. Even more bizarrely, a teacher had brought out 20 or so pupils to watch the bloodshed!

As the sabs made their presence known, huntsman Philip Sever tried in vain to gather up the beagles, knowing he’d been caught red-handed. However, he was totally inept in getting any control over the marauding pack.

Cruelty on the curriculum: the hunted hare runs past Aysgarth School pupils. © Calder Valley Hunt Sabs

Eventually, with hounds in tow, he made the long walk of shame back to the meet. However, almost back at base, a hare suddenly bolted from their scrape just ten metres from the hounds and the whole pack gave chase. Sabs bought the poor hare some time by stalling the pack with voice calls.

At this point total chaos ensued and Sever simply walked the opposite direction, making no attempt to regain control of the beagle. He and the other hunt staff were most likely still in shock at being sabbed – we don’t think they’d been hit since the hunting ban 19 years ago! It was left to sabs on the ground to gather up most of the pack and finally force the hunt to go home, but not before the farcical hunt spent half an hour trying to retrieve the stragglers.

The farce that is the Catterick Beagles. © Calder Valley Hunt Sabs

One of the sabs present commented:

“It is utterly beyond belief that Aysgarth School thought it was acceptable to not only host this hunt at the school, but to also take a group of young children to watch the illegal hare hunt take place. Teaching school pupils to break the Hunting Act – what on earth were they thinking?

We are calling on the school and headmaster Jonathon Anderson to never again host a hunt, including the Catterick Beagles and the fox killing Bedale Hunt.”

Please take action and email Aysgarth School’s headmaster to request that they stop hosting hunts: janderson@aysgarthschool.co.uk

Find out how you can get involved with our campaign to strengthen the Hunting Act here.

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