The Countryside Alliance launched its latest poster campaign yesterday fronted by a black hunt follower Sarah Lake, 30, from Pembrokeshire. The new image forms part of a campaign aimed to break down prejudice against the hunting community, and to highlight the varying backgrounds of hunt supporters.
“People see hunting as sport for posh people,” says Sarah, “but I was brought up in Slough and I would never have started hunting unless my mother had encouraged me to get interested in horses.
“My hope is that if people see me out hunting, others will see that it’s not an elitist sport.”
Sarah, whose father is from the West Indies, works full-time as a restaurant manager and has two horses which she hunts, including a point-to-pointer who she trains herself.
She has been riding since the age of nine and hunting for five years, first with the North Cotswold and now with the South Pembrokeshire.
A member of the Countryside Alliance for the past five years, Sarah attended the Hyde Park rally in 1997 and the Countryside March in 1998. Her husband Robert is a farmer.
“Hopefully my protest will highlight the prejudice and discrimination of the MPs who are attacking the hunting community. They would never behave like this towards any other minority”, adds Sarah.
This weekend is a designated action weekend for the Countryside Alliance, where posters and flyers will be circulated throughout the country, and the CA has plans to keep up the pressure all through the autumn.
“Obviously the party conference season is going to be an important time for us, and when the Hunting Bill returns to Lords in October we will be stepping up the campaign even more,” says a spokesperson for the CA.