Bloodhounds hunt the “clean boot” – the fresh scent of a runner following a predetermined line. An average day’s hunting consists of three or four lines of up to 30 fences, covering up to 20 miles in total.
The Farmers Bloodhounds were established in 1989 to complement foxhunting across the Midlands, rather than replace it.
The hunt’s country stretches from Northamptonshire, through Warwickshire and Worcestershire and down into the Cotswolds. Terrain varies, but most days are on grass.
The FMD crisis almost caused the hunt to be disbanded due to financial difficulties, but a rescue plan was put together and the pack is now owned by the Tutton family. Jan Hutton, a successful local businesswoman, supports the hunt financially and is hon joint secretary and treasurer.
Jan’s son Graham is huntsman and the mastership is headed by Warwickshire hunt stalwart Sue Busby, plus Grafton farmer Brian Temple and former point-to-point rider Andy Tutton.
“The next step is to increase our membership,”says Jan. “We have a children’s meet and houndexercise meets and a social calendar throughout the year including a point-to-point, so there is something for everyone.
“To avoid a clash with foxhunting, meets are held on Sundays, and we are careful not to hunt in the same area Foxhounds have crossed that week.”
“Anyone coming out with the Farmers Bloodhounds is always made extremely welcome and we give people the opportunity to ride to hounds over some of the best hunting country in England,” says Andy Tutton.
“However, it is always made very clear by the masters that supporting the Bloodhounds is to support other country sports – foxhunting, shooting, point-to-point, fishing etc.
“It is essential that all of us who enjoy the country way of life stick together in these times of political correctness.”
For more details on hunting with The Farmers’ Bloodhounds contact Jan Tutton (tel: 07970 774620).