**Tuesday 5th March 19. Crawley and Horsham and Old Surrey and Burstow and West Kent hunt. Joint meet Balcombe. **
After watching the hunt unpack monitors followed the hounds to the meet at Stonehall, Balcombe. There they had a good yak and drinks while the huntmasters gave speeches.
They huntsman of the OSBWK then lead their hounds away from the meet full of pomp and circumstance. It wasn’t long before the hounds were in full cry racing over the hill and into the bushes. Deer and hares were seen desperately fleeing for their lives.
Up on the top of the hill we found the ‘rent a mob’ , 5 quad bikes with terriermen already muddy, at least two with terrier dogs inside. Why would the hunt need terrier dogs and an army of terriermen if they are trail laying? There appeared to be no such trail laid
The terriermen appeared to be keeping an eye on us, so we gave them a little wave
They hunted close to Ardingly reservoir and made their way north to Balcombe forest area. The quads were driving recklessly, and illegally, all over the roads, with complete disregard for pedestrians, horses and other motorists. One lady keen to get her horses out into the field was trying to find the hunt to check it was safe to do so for fear her horse would get scared, they gave her no such courtesy and disappeared before the lady could speak to them.
One sab very nearly got ridden into and squashed by the horses of two mouthy and aggressive huntsmen.
The field and some quads did a lot of waiting around, although we could not hear the huntsman’s calls so what were they waiting for?…sometimes silence really is deadly
The huntsman lead the hounds far south again where he then worked them through the woods for a final blood lust attempt.The field again did a lot of waiting around and it thankfully was not long after they then made their way back to the meet before dark. It was a long day.
Many thanks for members of Croydon and Southcoast sabs who helped us and those that came to join.
Due to the knowledge of the area combined with some speedy sabs we were able to keep with the hunt all day.