My Life of Hounds, Hunting and Country People

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    Over the last 44 years I would like to share the wonderful times I have had of the Above sadly not so in the last 8 years! before I can share these times I feel it so important to Address the massive x roads Hunting Faces.

    OK the Hunting Act 2004 was a very fluid weak if not complex piece of Legislation to some but people were very easy to absorb if you are privileged to have the knowledge on hounds which sadly few have today.
    Law is Law if WE think it unfair or not NO LORD Working Man
    Is exempt from it.
    Basically the Contexts of it should be clear to us all.

    In 1987 when I signed my life up “to a way of life” as I thought things as we find out in life never always go to plan!”

    Upon going into Hunt service I had a 5 year advantage which I’m sure we will cover in further Furoms.
    The fundamental thing for any young Hunt Servant were a list of things that would stand you in fine fettle in any walk of life. 1st class Manners to ALL, being a Grafter, learning how to talk to all sorts of Country People ,who in those days were and still are “Salt of the Earth “. From the most important people the Farmers to Dukes, Lords Ladies, the local Dustman and be Respectful to All, this is very important never to LIE and if you were honoured ” You naturally “HAD IT” to start with as a Hunt Servant ” and disipline.

    Let’s move to the place we are at today in a bloody mess !
    Nobody could foresee how this world would change in 50 years.
    Hunting has been lead by a Goverming Body of Rules and Ethics
    Know as the MFHA now this confuses me / HO Now at a great expense and that money is generated by each Hunt Paying a Affliation fee to the the MFHA,MHBA, MSHA, MMHA all under the umbrella of said MFHA/HO but let’s be CLEAR they HAVE NO DIRECT power over each Hunt, they should comply with the Sporting ethics as a decent human being.
    Going back 300 years to as recent as the 1950,s most Packs of Hounds were completely financed by a wealthy man or Masters who kept a pack hounds at his sole expense and hunted a area of the UK called a Country, in the 17 and 18 Century packs of hounds were bought and sold as man started hunting hounds then gave up these hounds for various reasons and were bought and hunted by himself and you hunted on a horse or foot or bicycle and enjoyed sport that people owed a great deal of respect to the mainly the Master Huntsman who built kennels employed all the staff etc.
    (How things has changed ! )
    Massive Estate Owners like the Berekley Family and Duke of Beauforts, Duke Rutland Duke Northumberland The Sir Watkin Williams Wynn to name a few had huge Countries which much later was spilt up and given To Form Country’s by name we associate with today,
    Preaching to the converted ends there!

    Hunting had fought off opposition for approx 50 years from people who think To hunt a Wild Mammal is cruel (again let’s respect their views)
    With the Hunting Act came not the end of our fight but we had to adapt legally different ways by laying and HUNTING a trail of scent instead of the Fox and hare , staghounds is very different.

    1.5 million was raised to legally challenge what we call a middle ground way to make both sides happy it did the opposite and The Fox became sadly the biggest loser with I put a average on 40% less foxes in rural England than Ever, due to other methods of not fox control but every man gun long dog and terrier lads cannot leave alone.

    I am one of the MFHA biggest critics ,since the 80,s as the Calibre of men in the Association were not of the METAL of the men before them. A famous hunting family said to me once ” You can have to much of Capt Wallace you know !! “
    With Capt Wallaces military approach to a days hunting Brought with it both good and not so good but HE ran Hunting and he was known as God please don’t get him confused with the 10th Duke of Beaufort !! I hate a class system but the later man was in a league of his own.
    Generations of Hunt Servants came from 1 family no more brilliant Then the Durno name Percy and Bruce and all hunt Servants till the late 90,s were men like Joe Miller, Charlie Wilkin
    Jack Simister,The Webster brothers, The Johnson Brothers
    Stanley Barker,Sidney Littleworth Tom Teanby George Gilson,the list is endless then go though old Baileys and see who these men Producded Its fascinating the next goldern era of Men, to name a few Bryan Pheasey, Micheal Farrin Tommy Normington, Brain Gupwell,George Adams Jim Laing Johnny O’Shea,Syndey Bailey Tony Collins I could go on and on to say sadly the crop of class huntaman or KH of their Calibre Ant Adams ,William Deakin, Bert Loud Chris Bowld etc these type men produced great man but lots of things in our Island had changed Urbanisation, Roads becoming a huge problem, Commercial shooting being the biggest , railways becoming much busier new Towns springing up and before the HA 2004 the fox was much less wild due to them seeing man to much in many parts of Britain and people were feeding them in their village garden hence the fox never ventured far as food was on tap.
    From the 80,s a mass influx of Master Huntsman who were paided for doing the job of running the Country and hunting hounds who were moderate and 1st class hunt servants lost respect for some these man doing Professionals out of huntsmans jobs , Money in hunts were getting tighter due to the old school of foxhunters dying off wages were getting higher and by the mid 90,s very few hunts had a 2nd whip.

    The MFHA commitee is made up of I think 17 members they are voted on for 3 years then a new man is voted on blah blah all these men were cut from the same cloth but 60 years prior they were of different class.
    The new brigade got themselves in all sorts of scraps by the turn of the 2000,s if you want respect from your staff you show it to them too, by 2004 most of the class Pro Hunt Staff had retired early and or got out Hunt service a great shame and you were left with the start of a good standard of Hunt Servant getting hard to find.

    The Hunting Act exemptions were tested to the limit , 1 was madness and proved to be so , the 2nd was not used correctly used and the 3rd never used by by registered Pack, The word INTENT is hard to prove that left us with hunting the trail, I have to be very Careful what I say as a Court case is taking place in Sept.
    The influx of Master Huntsman has dried up a fair few packs have Almalgamated due to lack of Country ,Fininaces, etc some been disbanded.

    The MFHA has lead us like sheep to the mess we are in today
    so hunting peoples conduct out hunting and staff to and very many stupid things sabs have 10 years on dirt on hunting.

    Is it to late to recover something from hunting ?

    The dinosaurs and arrogant man can pled till Domesday they are hunting within the law, but even the general countryside people have turned on us, if they carry on like this within 6 years hunting will be in the history books, we need to Prove we can hunt a trail 100% time and clearly you don’t lay it over or down a A road though village gardens etc , we have 3 choices Allow the powers to B to carry on this insanity
    2 Adapt 100% to the trail hunting way forward.
    3 At the last resort try to set a new Trail hunting Regulatory body up so in 50 years times there is still hunting packs will decrease they finically have no choice.
    We try to ADAPT or we DIE simple as.
    Sadly people who hunt today are not on the Whole interested in hounds.
    MY Next blog I will talk about if we are given a lifeline grab it with both hands .

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.


    Peter Brook


    Passionate start there Mark, looking forward to hearing more.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.


    Peter Brook


    Posted on behalf of Duncan Cinnamond ana moved from FB
    Duncan Cinnamond The mfha aren’t perfect, we all know that! But please stop slating modern hunt staff.
    Yes there’s a few bad penny’s as there have been throughout hunting’s history but most of us are hard working, polite, conscientious people who are trying to provide sport in an increasingly urbanised country under the constraints of the hunting act.
    Many of us are one man bands, working 24-7-365. Many masters are working people who are giving their time, effort and increasingly their cash to keep hunts on the road.
    The constant negativity from former hunt staff is not helpful to hunting or current hunt staff.
    I have recently had the pleasure of working with a young chap who is one of the most professional of hunt staff I’ve ever met (and I’ve met many of the old school men) and he has left me reassured that the future of hunt staff is bright.
    If you’re not happy with modern hunt staff and hunting maybe you should take up knitting and leave us to it.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.




    Duncan Cinamond thank you for your feedback , I’m not quite ready for knitting yet and to leave you to it is something I love to do but I love hounds to much.
    I have no idea which hunt you work for but I’m sure your a very hard worker.
    Let’s get 1 thing straight if the powers to be don’t get there ACT together Hunting will be lost forever.

    Your right it’s not easy trying to operate in a growing urbanised Island so get the MFHA to make it easy it ain’t rocket science !!
    Many are 1 man bands working all hours which I respect but there ain’t many Masters using their own money to keep that hunt afloat unless my knitting has took my eye off the ball many Masters do not have the time to even open up enough country to produce what is now seen as a days hunting !!

    The negativity from former hunt staff is im Sorry well justified, if you want to be a lamb lead to slaughter by the MFHA then be a yes sir man.
    You have a OPPORTUNITY to start a Different form of hunting to keep you in the way of life you choose, but the deluded arrogant MFHA will NOT see sense.
    You can tell me your hunting within the law and I’m sorry that insults my integrity and many honest ex Hunt servants as well cringe.
    If you insist on this look at the needless hours of footage to prove otherwise, accidents happen from time to time, but should be rare but to see hounds running across, upsides along A roads and you say its a trail come on !!
    If you think the futher looks bright for the likes of this certain young good man who I,m sure is as a polite young man as you meet , I may have to reach for my knitting !!
    There is never a repeal going to happen, hunting has been brought into Disrepute more in the last 12 years than ever before.
    There is nowhere else to hide you carry on telling yourselves your hunting totally within the hunting Act ( by selfish arrogant Old and Young Master Huntsman in the Clicky Clicky set of the MFHA/HO )
    or you adapt . If your a huntsman you know exactly what your doing or KH , sadly near 50% packs cannot afford a whipper in.
    You could have more fun the new way, the behaviour of many hunt staff is appalling out hunting when things become crystal clear , the men that Knew the time of day over 50 are very few they are hanging on as they have no option, the clever top ones sadly have walked away because they saw the writing on the wall and you cannot hunt a pack of hounds today as it is impossible to do so they are hunted in a half hearted way, you DONT ask a hound to do 1 thing Then rate him for doing it !!

    Duncan take 10 steps back at look what future hunt service has to offer good young men.

    Perjury is a very Serious offence, and the men who have overbred hounds for the last 17 years to get a Peterbrough Champion are pathetic and have big ego,s.
    I suggest you think hard on what I have wrote and if you think us older people will not fight to see a solid future for hunting for years to come in a new format then your wrong, there’s a lot Angry hunting people out there that want to see hounds hunting a line to put themselves right at checks etc and people have fun again cos they ain’t had much in the last 10 years.
    The standard of Master/ Huntsman in general is shocking , if they have modern English Show hounds it makes them look even worse, you can try to fool some people but NOT people like me.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Peter Brook.


    Peter Brook


    As a Hunt Servant you had your eyes 👀 ears 👂 and brain 🧠
    Luckily I have kept the records from the 1988/89 season and only2 brace of foxes were dug.
    The Amazing huntsman Sadly in his final season of 25 seasons as huntsman/ KH/ then Huntsman in his final season he was 65 just before the last season the farmers and subscribers wanted him to do one more season before he retired because he had been Mr BWH then very latterly BWWC I was so privileged at 18 after doing one season in the kennels/stables before to be put on as 2nd whipper In, Bryan R.IP 🙏, . He was a gentle man Meaning both words and easy to work UNDER if you “had it”!
    He lent me the true art of venery and he was not interested in the amount of foxes he accounted for it was the sport he showed And boy could he show it 🙂
    I was instructed never to leave him unless told otherwise so I was so lucky to just watch everything he did I was always five steps ahead of anticipation he was 10 steps ahead!
    His hounds hunted and caught foxes fair and square after hunts of that 1 season A 8 mile Point x2, 7 mile points ,5 x 6 mile points 8x 5 mile points in one of those points I think it was a 6 mile one hounds hundred a very twisty Fox That continued to twist and turn left handed , they checked 4 times, 3 times they worked it out at a check once he left them casting for 3 minutes we knew this fox had been running left since the start he popped a hunt jump I was told to push them on to him gently as possible I never needed to as son as he said Yipe hounds shot to him on a glass field he nudged them 10 yards on a angle left They hit it off I counted them we were all on “All on Sir “ I said he smiled at me anyway we went a mile or so on !very Tired horses and I got off to do a bad gate and he said Mark don’t rush listen they caught it ! we were deep in the Grafton country after running from the Bicester country through The famous Badby Wood Well into the Pycthley country just short of Daventry and it turned left over the road Back into our country it almost ran over into the Warwickshire country but turned left again and hunted it to. within a field of whereThe hounds found it. But they had flown on
    our horses were absolutely cooked and Bryan was the most sympathetic horseman with a fantastic pair of hands you’d ever meet.
    The hounds noise breaking the Fox 🦊 up Was clearly getting much louder and you know within two fields of this chicken farm they caught it bang in the middle of the field and I got off and open the gate and walked my horse across to them it was on its knees Bryan just walked across there Never made a big Fuss blew The kill on his horn only once no wo upping Made a tremendous fuss of his hands he never got off his horse because of his hips hence why I rode with him He was 66 years old then. Such a humble man he learnt me never ever play the numbers game About the amount of foxes you caught it meant nothing and he was so so correct he was great friends with Mr Tommy Normington The gentleman Grafton huntsman they speak on the phone once a week but never discussed how many foxes they caught .on this 15 mile as hounds ran and six or seven point was on the Tuesday had run through half of Tommys draw for Saturday! Brian told me he said to Tommy Don’t worry about that Saturday we are meeting in the Whaddon country you can get into our Country and poach ours below we’re we had been on the Saturday ,That was the camaraderie these old school brilliant men were and I think Tommy did spend half of the day in our country South of where we’ve been on Tuesday .🙂

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