Richard Gurney: What hunting wants for Christmas [H&H VIP]

  • Dear Father Christmas,

    As we have been so good and laid many trails over the past year, thanked motorists when they have had to slow down or stop, not made a mess over the country we are fortunate enough to cross, closed every gate behind us and given so many people so much fun and excitement, can you please bestow upon us the following gifts?

    Repeal of the Hunting Act, because as you know the Act is unworkable and the worst piece of legislation ever drafted. We need to take the pressure off those professionals and amateurs who face the threat of a vindictive prosecution by our opponents every time they go out trailhunting. We can hunt the rabbit but not the fox, I ask you!

    ➤ That the numbers of subscribers and followers continue to increase in every hunt, season upon season.

    ➤ That we may all have kennels free from the cough and disease forever!

    ➤ That Jim Barrington continues to enjoy a positive response from his excellent talks on hunting and animal welfare in schools and colleges because the young understand it.

    ➤ That every hunt in the UK works to improve their PR within the local community and with the wider public.

    ➤ And lastly that hunting people everywhere get to sing my new hunting carol….

    ‘While huntsmen watched’ by H&H columnist Richard Gurney

    While huntsmen watched
    Their kennels by night
    All merry on the ground
    The angel of the Lord came down
    And glory shone on hounds
    And glory shone on hounds

    “Fear not” he said
    For mighty dread
    Has seized their troubled minds
    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    To you and all who subscribe
    To you and all who subscribe

    “To you in London town this day
    Is passed in the House of Commons
    A bill that makes such common sense
    At last we hear you cry
    At last we hear you cry
    “The heavenly bill
    You there shall find
    To human view displayed
    All perfectly wrapped
    A brand new act
    All be it nine years delayed
    All be it nine years delayed”

    Thus spake the seraph
    And forthwith
    Appeared a shining throng
    Of huntsmen praising Cameron, who thus
    Addressed their joyful song
    Addressed their joyful song

    All glory be to God on high
    And to the earth be hunting
    Goodwill henceforth
    From heaven to huntsmen
    Begin and never cease
    Begin and never cease

    Regardless of whether all our wishes are granted or not, hunting is still here and growing in popularity all the time.

    Next year we will see the biggest party ever to celebrate hunting with the Horn & Hound Ball, which will be held at Cheltenham racecourse on Saturday,  26 April in aid of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society.

    Dinner, dancing, an auction and the highlight of the evening will be the rebirth of the champion hunting horn-blowing competition for the Dorian Williams Horse & Hound Challenge Trophy.

    Everyone is welcome, so support hunting and your local hunt, meet old friends and make some new ones. More on this amazing night in the New Year.
    Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all.