Cottesmore Hunt’s hired thugs violently attack hunt sabs

The Cottesmore Hunt has reached a new low, hiring thugs to violently attack hunt saboteurs. The hunt is resorting to desperate measures, mistakenly thinking that such tactics will scare off hunt saboteurs once and for all.

Northants Hunt Saboteurs posted a video of the attack on social media, and the incident has now made mainstream media headlines. The eight-minute footage shows hunt saboteurs following huntsman Sam Jones and the hounds as they search for a fox. They are followed by four men wearing balaclavas, with matching puffy jackets. The men prevent the sabs from following the hunt by surrounding them and using physical force.

The sabs stated:

“As you can see one sab tries to get back up off the floor after being chucked to the floor already and is then slammed face first into the mud. Another sab is present and tries to assist her comrade and is then herself thrown violently across the field face first into the mud. These so called men are nothing but violent and mindless thugs who are carrying out the Cottesmore’s dirty work. “

One of the men shouts “tell your b*tch to keep walking, then”, and then just minutes later one of the thugs says, “keep going, you sl*g.” A man then shoves a sab to the ground yet again.

After the attack, the sabs said:

“Whatever violence the Cottesmore decide to enforce on us is not going to change our stance. We have seen off their violence in the past and we will do it again. We WILL shut you down and we WILL win.”
They concluded:
“Please share this footage far and wide. This is what the Cottesmore don’t want you to see and this is the face of the Cottesmore Hunt in 2024.”
The hunt will, no doubt, be mortified that their new tactic has backfired. It has immediately made national news headlines, drawing attention to the fact that the Cottesmore is desperate to hide its illegalities. After all, if it were legally trail hunting, it wouldn’t need to hire violent bullies to scare off those monitoring it.

A history of extreme violence

The sabs stated that the reason why the Cottesmore has hired such thugs is because the hunt has:

“been put under so much pressure this season and this is a direct result of their anger.”

The Cottesmore’s violent desperation has reared its ugly head a number of times before this attack. Some recent key incidents include:

  • In August 2023, huntsman Sam Jones appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to common assault after his horse leapt a fence while a sab was standing on the other side. As a result, the horse hit the saboteur. Jones then rode off and continued hunting. That incident happened in February 2023, and Jones was, disgracefully, acquitted by a judge in November 2023.
  • In October 2022, Angela Jarrom committed a hit-and-run on a hunt saboteur during a Cottesmore Hunt meet on her land. Jarrom pleaded guilty to to a diminished charge of actual bodily harm, but escaped going to prison.
  • In November 2021, Cottesmore Hunt Pony Club manager Sarah Moulds was filmed kicking and punching her horse. The video went viral, and the public were outraged. She was found not guilty in court in August 2023.
  • In September 2021, hunt saboteur Mel Broughton suffered broken ribs when a Cottesmore Hunt steward assaulted him. At the time, a hunt sab told the London Economic that Broughton was attacked and “pulled clean off” a gate. The sab said: “He’s broken two ribs… He was on the floor in a lot of distress and pain, struggling to breathe, going in and out of consciousness before being rushed to hospital.”
  • Broughton was targeted yet again in December 2021 by members of the Cottesmore after he was trying to check on an injured horse. The horse later died.

The written constitution of the Cottesmore Hunts says the objects of the hunt are “to carry on all lawful hound and equestrian activities, and all other lawful activities associated with the former activities of the Hunt prior to 18th February 2005” (when the Hunting Act came into force). But beating people up is what ‘modern hunting’ looks like.

It is unsurprising that an outfit like the Cottesmore has abandoned any pretence of lawful activities and stooped to hiring a gang of violent bullies to do its dirty work.

These thugs are subject to the same laws as everyone else however. Leicestershire Police has said that it is investigating this latest assault. The video evidence means that the force MUST take firm action against the men involved.