So desperate were the Middleton Hunt to avoid saboteurs this weekend they changed their final Saturday meet of the season to this Friday – however being availed of this information we were able to outfox them and take them by surprise along with comrades from Manchester Hunt Sabs, East Yorkshire Coast Hunt Sabs, Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs, West Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs, Nottingham Hunt Saboteurs, Lincoln Hunt Saboteurs and Cheshire Hunt Saboteurs
The hunt set out from Westfield Farm, east of Malton, and immediately sabs were on their tail. Sabs kept with them on foot as the hunt covered a selection of the surrounding terrain but mainly going round in circles. They clearly did not have a huge amount of land to hunt today and appeared somewhat stumped by the presence of sabs at every turn, including at one point bizarrely drawing through the grounds of the local hall right next to their kennels before continuing to hunt through woodland. With sabs around, the hunt kept on the move, though sabs were able to keep up with them throughout the day.
The hunt put up a number of deer and at least one fox which we saw flee to safety then covered their tracks by spraying to mask the scent. Hounds went into cry on a couple of occasions but sabs were on hand to call them off. The hunt seemed a little subdued and put out by our presence, at one point the field blocked sab vehicles, but our fleet footed sabs merely got out of the vehicle and whizzed to catch up with the hounds the riders were intending to prevent us from reaching.
Local sabs informed us that they would usually hunt on until 5.30-6pm, however seemingly entirely fed up with our presence they decided to call it a day at 4pm and headed back to the kennels.
Well done to all the groups across the North for being able to respond swiftly and flexibly to the change of plan, in particular Manchester and Sheffield who have been left without a vehicle since last weekend’s ramming – please help them get back on the road.
And thanks to the wonderful Juliette – who we sadly said goodbye to yesterday – for spurring us on to get organised and out in the field today .