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Gallery: Supporters of Suffolk’s hunts turn out in their hundreds to watch events in Hadleigh and Hawstead on Boxing Day

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 December 2014

Spectators gathered for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Hadleigh.

Spectators gathered for the annual Boxing Day hunt in Hadleigh.

Archant

Hunt masters across Suffolk have said the support for their sports is still strong despite the hunting ban.

Yesterday marked the tenth Boxing Day hunt since the practice was banned by Hunting Act but hundreds of people still turned out in Hadleigh and Hawstead, near Bury St Edmunds, to watch the hunts set off.

Master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt James Buckle, speaking to the assembled crowd before the hunt began, thanked the staff who had put the event together.

He also said the number of supporters who turn out to watch the hunt each year reassured him there was still an appetite for the sport.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing,” Mr Buckle said. “If I was standing up here on my own I would be thinking that maybe someone had got a point.

“But you can’t get this level of support and it not be something that needs to continue.

“It’s so interwoven in the whole of rural life, it’s just a fantastic tradition.

“I find it difficult to explain quite why I am so passionate about it because there are so many facets of it that I love.

“It is all absolutely what I think typifies the countryside and rural life.”

Mr Buckle also criticised Douglas Carswell, Clacton’s UKIP MP, for seeming to change his stance on the ban.

“I am quite speechless. I’ve been sitting there talking to him in his office in Harwich and he has been assuring me he never wanted to make it a major plank of his manifesto but it was always something he supported and it was never an issue.

“I suppose if someone can’t work out which party he’s going to stand for you cant really expect him to work out which of their policies he may or may not want.”

Christopher Minter, joint master of the Suffolk Hunt, claimed the practice was not understood by those living in towns and that all round the year, negativity was very uncommon in the county.

The 48-year-old said: “We have lots of people here attending, it is great to get out on Boxing Day and blow away those Christmas cobwebs.

“The people living in towns do not understand the countryside, they have this view of what fox hunting is and they have it completely wrong.

“I think Suffolk is supportive of fox hunting, we never get negativity all year round. People like to see us out and give us waves and smiles.

“We have a lot of people here today, not just in the hunt but the foot followers who have come to watch.”

17 comments

  • Yes 'Donna' .... and the sycophantic c***s who write for their 'masters' and censor the comments of the plebs.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • How the hell people support this disgusting, barbaric, blood-lust eludes me. The plebs that hunt and think this is fun are poor excuses to humanity. Aside from it being illegal.. it's archaic & serves no purpose. The golden handshakes, 'back-rubbing' & donations that take place to allow this just shows just how corrupt and vile you hunt c***s are. The same old spouting rhetoric that spews from your mouths to justify this barbarism is laughable. Your kind are the real vermin to society!!!!

    Report this comment

    Donna Palfrey

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

  • As the blessed Oscar said, fox hunting is the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • Quite right 'deeber' "we're not confused,just annoyed the publicity you get get.." and what is even more annoying is that the Tory rags we have to put up with as they have a monopoly, ensure that the hunters say all they want; not quite sure how they get TWO reporters, a photographer and unlimited access to print (but I will let all of you readers guess, wink wink) but at least they know the moderators will be FULLY on their side. Perhaps it is in the job description.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • Why shouldn't they get publicity? They're doing nothing wrong; they're not breaking the law. The fact that hundreds of people turn out to follow the hunt shows that it is a popular spectacle; perhaps even more popular now that they don't actually hunt live animals. Some people just love to see the horses. What's wrong with having a few drinks, anyway? It's a fun day our for hunters and spectators alike, and before everybody gets irate, I am NOT a hunt supporter, although I was many years ago. Frankly, hunting and shooting animals does not appeal to me, but I've done it in the past and can see both sides of the argument.

    Report this comment

    May Day

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • May Day ..we're not confused,just annoyed the publicity you get get.. The countryside alliance is behind this and it bribes government officials (lobbying) to get this reinstated. .it was banned with public support. Perhaps the police could nick a few of them for being drunk in charge of a Horse! Every meet seems to be awash with the wrong spirits!

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • It is NOT FREE SPEECH for your newspapers to print a story which is VERY PRO the hunters BUT TO BAN comments which are ANTI. Is it only the wealthy who have unfettered access to your media???

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • Whether you are for or against hunting, I would just like to point out that what they are doing is perfectly legal. Some of your readers appear to be confused about what happens at a modern day hunt. They do not hunt live animals any more.

    Report this comment

    May Day

    Sunday, December 28, 2014

  • If it was hare coursing, police with the helicoptor would be charging around the countryside. Why are the police not policing this crime and arresting these criminals..

    Report this comment

    smokie

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • I have a comment for Mr Buckle. Not only 'Townies' are against hunting. I have never lived in a town and have always been against fox hunting. It has never been a part of my culture. Very much a minority 'Activity'.

    Report this comment

    jimmy_m1

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • LATEST NEWS! Comments banned here. Wonder why???

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Perhaps they need to hunt you Buckle, will come and watch then, see how you like it

    Report this comment

    jungle boy

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • When was the last time the Essex and Suffolk hunt last saw a fox, less amount chase it ?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Shame on the eadt for giving space to a BANNED sport.. Grow up Mr Buckle..not all traditions are good ones... and fancy taking youngsters along to watch a fox being mutilated..Silly names they give each Other? Master of the hunt ?...How outdated and juvenile. .and I lived in the countryside for 25 years and it's equally unpopular there too.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • So sad that there are still people so sick in the head that they think seeing an animal ripped to pieces and suffering an agonising death is fun.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • I love it when people say that people from towns do not understand the country way, may I remind oters that town people have hearts and pets, also love the countryside and there is no justification for killing and chasing foxes and also pheasant shoots. leave nature alone, perhaps a New boxing day treat of chasing the local hunt on foot by hoards of so called town people see how you like it.

    Report this comment

    Paul Edwards

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

  • Heard it all before Mr Buckle.You and others by breaking the law and ignoring public opinion brought upon the ban.

    Report this comment

    Boyce

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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