Demonstration Day shows success of trail hunting

The demonstration aimed to educate the public about trail hunting, which is enjoyed by thousands of people.
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The British Hound Sports Association (BHSA) has organised its first demonstration of trail hunting in the countryside of Derbyshire, open to all supporters and opponents of the sport.

Hosted by the Barlow Hunt with the Holcombe Harriers also taking part, the trail hunting event demonstrated how hunts prepare for a day’s activities and how they are successfully trail hunting within the confines of the Hunting Act.

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Olly Hughes, managing director of the British Hound Sports Association, said: “We have to be open and show how our sport works in practice, especially to those who are opposed to it or just unsure about it. When hounds are seen in full cry across the country it is all too easy for some to assume they are hunting illegally when they are not.

Trail hunting demonstration near Holmesfield, DerbyshireTrail hunting demonstration near Holmesfield, Derbyshire
Trail hunting demonstration near Holmesfield, Derbyshire

“We must continue to demonstrate that trail hunting is a properly managed, legal and ethical sporting activity that follows a strict set of protocols and rules.

“Last year there were more than 11,000 days of trail hunting, attended by many thousands of people up and down the country. Trail hunting is always carried out with the permission of the land owner and it brings rural communities together to enjoy the sport and the tradition. Whether on horseback, following in a car, or on foot, a day’s trail hunting is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to watch hounds work in a beautiful rural setting.

“All BHSA member hunts follow the core principles of the BHSA which allows everyone to enjoy a trouble-free day’s trail hunting. Where there is evidence of wrongdoing we will take action, and we will always support criminal prosecution of anyone who breaks the law.”

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Jo Riley, Master of Foxhounds for the Barlow Hunt said: “Our trail was laid using an e-bike and the Holcombe Harriers used a mounted trail layer, but sometimes this is done by someone on foot or on a quad, depending on the nature of the area. This is absolutely beautiful countryside and we believe that trail hunting enables everyone to continue the tradition of the sport while also enjoying the beauty of the countryside and the social aspect of the hunt in all rural areas of England and Wales.”

The Barlow Hunt and Holcombe Harriers demonstrated trail hunting at an event in DerbyshireThe Barlow Hunt and Holcombe Harriers demonstrated trail hunting at an event in Derbyshire
The Barlow Hunt and Holcombe Harriers demonstrated trail hunting at an event in Derbyshire

The BHSA aims to preserve, protect, and promote the future of hunting with hounds. In Great Britain the BHSA has accredited and licensed 242 packs of foxhounds, harriers, beagles, bassets, mink hounds and stag hounds and the Fell packs. The BHSA supports trail hunting and exempt hunting and promotes the welfare and conservation of all hound breeds.

All accredited hunts adhere to the core principles of the BHSA and are at the heart of rural communities.

Across England’s hunting community, more than £430,000 for 92 charities has been raised during the course of the last season, from November 2022 to May 2023.