Bridleless not Brainless to team chase in bitless bridles

  • The fundraising team chasers formerly known as Bridleless not Brainless – who threatened to give up the sport in protest at new safety rules – have announced they will continue, but in bitless bridles.

    Team captain Mark Smith told H&H last month it was doubtful the team would continue.

    It followed an amendment to the rulebook that stated horses must be ridden “in a bridle with reins directly attached to a bit… or a purpose-designed bitless bridle”.

    The team had previously competed in pink headcollars.

    Mr Smith said two teams would compete this season in bitless bridles – adorned in their familiar bright pink – to raise money for breast cancer charities.

    “We have decided not to allow dogma to destroy our training and fundraising ethic,” he said.

    In a nod to how aggrieved Mr Smith feels about the changes, one of the teams will be called B*llocks but Still Bitless.

    Mr Smith previously captained 2007 national champions, B*llocks to Blair.

    James Buckle, chairman of the Masters of Foxhounds Association team chasing committee, said: “It would have been a real shame if Mark had given up team chasing just because of a rule change. It will be great to see him out.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (1 March 2012)

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