Film is a positive step forwards in promoting hunting

  • A film that takes you behind the scenes at three beagle and harrier packs is being hailed as a major step forwards in the promotion of hunting.

    In Kennels, produced by the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles (AMHB), was conceived as a training DVD, but is proving to appeal to a wider audience.

    Comprising seven short films, it follows the huntsmen of the Pendle Forest and Craven Harriers, Newcastle and District Beagles and the Chilmark and Clifton Foot Beagles.

    Director of the AMHB Lizzie Salmon told H&H she was “amazed that no one had done it before”.

    “We are delighted with the end result,” she said. “It is very professional and powerful and, for the first time, we have something that shows the care and attitude huntsmen have to their hounds and the job.”

    The DVD was funded by the Aldenham Harriers. When the pack closed in 2006, it donated money to educate the next generation of enthusiasts.

    It is filmed and narrated by James Macalpine, a former BBC documentary maker who hunts regularly with the Chilmark and Clifton Foot.

    “What we have is so much more than just a training DVD of best practice in kennels,” said Mrs Salmon. “It appeals to absolutely everyone who has owned a dog.”

    Simon Dunn, huntsman of the Chilmark and Clifton Foot, said the film was a huge commitment, but “great fun”.

    “It took just over a year and James was in kennels a lot, but because he is a hunting person, he never got in the way. And he asked questions that you enjoyed answering.

    “I felt really privileged to be asked. I love encouraging young people,” he added.

    H&H hunting editor Catherine Austen said other hunting associations could learn from the AMHB.

    “The world of hunt service has not always been the most forward thinking,” she said. “This is a major step forwards and the AMHB should be congratulated.”

    To buy In Kennels, send a cheque for £12 made payable to the AMHB to Lizzie Salmon, Langley House, Winchcombe, Glos GL54 5AB

    This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (22 December, 2011)

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