HARROWING: Cottesmore Hunt masked thugs attack vehicle with hammer

The notorious Cottesmore Hunt has struck again, using yet more violence to try to scare off Northants Hunt Saboteurs. The sabs’ account of the attack, which took place on 13 January 2024, is harrowing.

This new incident involved “ten plus” masked thugs attacking the sabs’ vehicle and trying to gain access to the sabs themselves. The incident happened in Wymondham, Leicestershire. Only one week earlier, on 6 January, the hunt’s hired thugs physically assaulted the sabs, dragging them through the mud.

Intention to attack people

Northants Hunt Sabs stated on Facebook that this attack was:

“another serious escalation of the violence the Cottesmore hunt is using to try and halt their demise into the history books.”

They described what happened that day:

“On finding the hunt it wasn’t long before an attempt to ambush sabs was launched. With a team in the field two sabs kept on the move in the vehicle. Turning into a lane near just north of the Wymondham Windmill their way was blocked by a turquoise land rover and three balaclava wearing thugs surrounded the vehicle. Unable to move at first, the Cottesmore hunt thugs punched at the windows and tried to gain access to the sabs inside. Thanks to some daring driving, sabs managed to mount the verge and get round the blocking vehicle. This was just a taste of things to come.”

Another attempt was then made to block the sabs’ vehicle. The sabs then said:

“With four vehicles carrying ten plus masked thugs and one being driven by a known Cottesmore supporter it was clear that the intention was to attack sabs. There followed some very tense vehicle chases around the area of Wymondham as sabs attempted to avoid the clearly planned trap to launch a serious assault on them.”

They continued:

“As sabs monitored their movements, the Cottesmore’s hired henchmen came down the Colsterworth road just east of Stainby and blocked all traffic. Again, balaclava wearing thugs exited the vehicles, spilt out across the road and ran towards our vehicle. Blocked from the rear also, sabs tried to move forward surrounded by the mob. A hammer went into the windscreen as the vehicle’s wing mirror was ripped off. Again, the Cottesmore’s gang desperately tried to get into the vehicle and the sabs inside. For the third time that day some inspired driving got sabs around the blocking vehicle and away.”

How much violence before the police stop these thugs?

Lincolnshire Police has stated that it is investigating the latest incident, but that no arrests have yet been made. This seems incredible, as sabs reported that there was a Rural Crime Team vehicle present that day.

On the previous incident on 6 January, the sabs were followed by four men wearing balaclavas, with matching puffy jackets. The men prevented the sabs from following the hunt by surrounding them and using physical force. The female sabs were thrown to the ground and dragged through the mud. Leicestershire Police also stated that it was investigating.

It remains to be seen whether Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Police forces will take any meaningful action. As the Cottesmore hunt thugs up the ante, the forces need to urgently crack down before sabs get seriously injured.

The Cottesmore has a long history of using extreme violence – including trampling hunt sabs with horses, hitting them with a car, and leaving a sab for dead – which we covered in a previous article. The most significant incident was in September 2021, when hunt saboteur Mel Broughton suffered broken ribs after a Cottesmore Hunt steward assaulted him. At the time, a hunt sab said 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.”

Sabs urgently need funds

Hunt saboteurs are literally putting their lives on the line to prevent the Cottesmore from killing foxes. They urgently need donations to cover the cost of their damaged vehicle. They concluded:

  • “With our wing mirror ripped off, our windscreen smashed and the cost of a recovery vehicle to collect our vehicle, it has been an expensive week for us. The Cottesmore are trying to cause maximum damage and put us out of action. You can stick two fingers up to the Cottesmore and donate towards our vehicle repairs by using the following link –“.