The East Anglian Bloodhounds (EABH) will continue hunting, after the reaction of their followers prompted the pack’s owners to put their retirement plans on hold.
“Other people’s enthusiasm has changed our minds — some drive 2hr to hunt with us,” said master Roger Clark. “We might not do as many days, but we’re definitely continuing in 2013-14.”
Fiona Gordon-Clarke, who hunts with the EABH most Sundays, said that she was “very relieved” to hear the news.
“It’s the most wonderful way to spend an afternoon,” she said.
“We’ve just had one of those great days, in fantastic country, galloping right behind hounds on the scent — and all told Roger that he couldn’t give up.”
Field master Caroline Jiggins was “devastated” when she heard the pack was disbanding.
“We get the chance to hunt in fabulous bits of countryside,” she said. “The Clarks do a brilliant job and work so hard.”
Roger, 65, plans to issue monthly meet cards rather than two a season, to allow more flexibility. He and his wife Fiona run the private pack themselves, alongside Roger’s job as a farrier and showing heavy horses.
“Last Sunday we got up at 5am and came in at quarter to midnight,” said Roger. “As we’re getting older, we want to take the odd Sunday off.”
The hunt are setting up specific fundraising initiatives, such as sponsoring a hound for a year, to help ease the Clarks’ workload. People have offered physical help, but financial support is particularly appreciated as staff trained to look after hounds are required.
Contact hon sec Ann Hogsbjerg, tel: 01787 269349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (21 March 2013)