The Crawley and Horsham Hunt, long known as one of the most violent in the UK, have been forced to give up their kennels and beg for shelter with the South Down and Eridge Hunt. They will only be keeping a small number of hounds and will hunt for one day a week.
Outrageously the hunt are also planning to be bringing in Richard Gurney as huntsman, the man who found infamy in the leaked hunting office webinars for telling the participants to “get one in the can”. He also told the assembled participants: “So this wasn’t about turning the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent into a trail laying pack, it was about giving us the support and protection that we needed.”……..”The Master of the day decided, that we should revert to Plan B, Plan B being obviously using our team to lay trails for the rest of the day because it became clear that the antis had arrived”.
In 2012 three members of the hunt, including huntsman Andrew Phillis, were found guilty of 5 counts of illegal hunting. In September 2013, professional huntsman, Nicholas Bycroft pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act.
Current huntsman, Bill Bishop, is due in court on the 10th March to answer two charges of illegal hunting and Bishop, along with whipper in George Bennett, were interviewed under caution in January regarding a separate incident.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:
“The Crawley and Horsham are the latest hunt to fall victim to sustained pressure from hunt saboteurs. For many years they’ve been unable to leave kennels without West Sussex Hunt sabs being present and this relentless pressure has brought this once powerful hunt to it’s knees. It’s a sign of their desperation that they’ve recruited Richard Gurney as their new huntsman, a man who will forever be associated with the leaked Hunting Office webinars and whose reputation is irrevocably tarnished as a result. This embarrassing move into lodgings with the South Down and Eridge is just delaying their inevitable demise which we look forward to reporting on in the very near future.”
Richard Gurney can be viewed in the webinars here.