**HIT Report 24/10/2020 – Cheshire Forest Hunt, Bradwall **

With the ongoing Badger Cull and many of our sabs having been out overnight protecting our stripey friends, there were fewer sabs out today to keep an eye on the Cheshire Forest Hunt, however with an excellent turn out from CABS and Independent Monitors, there were plenty of us out. In fact we managed a better turn out than the Forest. Their numbers seem to have dropped massively from last season when they were behaving.

Knowing that they were meeting in Bradwall, it didn’t take long to track down the meet, and taking advantage of the weather, the drone was deployed to keep an eye on the terriermen on quads, who kindly led the drone along the first part of the route, and to serve as a reminder that we have eyes in the sky as well as on the ground. Whilst the hunt were unpacking, a rather vile, pro-hunt creature slivered over, claiming to be a journalist for BBC Radio 4. Asking a lot of very leading questions, it was generally ignored. Not being phased, it continued trying to claim that illegal fox hunting was “pest control". Well we are here for pest control too, controlling the pests on horseback. Somehow we don’t think that will make it into the final cut. So far this season, Forest has been laying a trail on Saturdays, but actively hunting midweek.

With a “journalist" present, we suspected that this would be the case today, which it was, apart from a few occasions when the hounds picked up a fox trail, rather than the laid trail. The huntsman and whip were quick to call the hounds off, proving that they do indeed know when the hounds follow the wrong trail, and can call them back if they want to. Blows the “accidental kill" excuse out of the water. With a trail being laid, and in the most part being followed, and with the journalist hanging around, you may be fooled into thinking that animal cruelty was off the cards for today. Sadly not, as this video clearly shows what happened to a terrified horse, which had already been overly abused, by intensive spur digging to get it over the flowing brook. Marcus Callwood, the whopper in, mounted the horse to attempt to get it across the brook. The poor horse not wanting to jump the ditch, was then whipped from two sides, by two “ladies” - loose term! to attempt to force it to over. (Enjoy the fall from grace as she lands on her arse!!- best place for her!)