Quantock Stag Hounds attack sabs

Hunt saboteurs hospitalised by violent Quantock Stag Hounds riders

On 27th November hunt saboteurs were attacked by riders of the Quantock Stag Hounds. They had to be taken to hospital to treat their injuries (see header image above). North Dorset Hunt Saboteurs are now requesting public donations to replace equipment damaged in the attack.

The Quantock Stag Hounds are one of England’s most brutal hunts, terrorising Somerset’s stags and hinds on the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty week in, week out. The blood sport is the county’s very own trophy hunting; stags are hunted to exhaustion, murdered and cut into pieces, their various body parts given to riders as ‘trophies’.

Attacked with a riding crop

The sabs wrote about this latest incident, saying:

“A few of our Hunt Saboteurs on the ground today have reported that they have been attacked by violent riders at the Quantock Stag Hounds Hunt in Somerset. While attempting to stop a kill, our Sabs were attacked by a Hunt Master and an accomplice. Our sabs were hit over the head with a hunting whip handle and had their equipment damaged.
Thankfully, the footage has been saved to the SD card on the camera and we have made the Police aware.
The Sabs are currently in hospital getting triaged for their injuries.
The sabs later went into more detail about the exact circumstances of the attack, explaining:
“a separated hind came running up over the hill with hounds chasing her in cry. Sabs managed to halt hounds by commanding them to “Leave it”. That triggered volatile hunt master Gibbons and another known aggressive female rider Hopson AKA The Nutter, who is the daughter of another Hunt Master, to go mental and attack sabs.
As well as beating sabs and breaking a camera, attempts were also made to snatch a bodycam. They were clearly all very intoxicated. Especially worrying as the hunt master carries a shotgun on his horse! He is regularly filmed losing his mind and making threats!”
Quantock Stag Hounds attack sabs
The Quantock Stag Hounds attackers and their cameraman. Photo via North Dorset Hunt Sabs

Police inaction

Protect the Wild reports time and time again about the Quantock Stag Hounds repeatedly breaking the law, seemingly with total impunity. North Dorset Sabs said that they contacted the police about this latest incident, but it did little good:

“Police were called and we were told officers were on the way and to meet them at Holford Green. However, they did not turn up. We called back on 101 and were told that police had attended and reported that witnesses refused to give statements! It turns out that they went and talked to the hunt instead!”

We contacted Avon and Somerset Police for a comment, who gave us a contradictory statement:

We were called at around 1pm on Monday 27 November to Crowcombe Park Gate, near Taunton, following a report of an assault. Officers attended shortly after receiving the call and engaged with people from both involved parties at the scene.

We have received a counter allegation in relation to the incident and both matters are being investigated.

If you were in the area and witnessed the incident, or have any relevant footage, please contact 101 and quote reference 5223289951.

The Quantock Stag Hounds clearly thinks it is untouchable. And for good reason – because despite so much photo and video evidence of it breaking the law, absolutely nothing is done. It has only been convicted for illegal hunting twice, the first time in October 2007 and the second time in November 2010. 13 years later, where is police action, and where are the arrests? Hunt monitors and saboteurs have shown time and time again that stags are being illegally murdered (see here, here or here, for example), but to no avail. Avon and Somerset Police say that it is investigating this attack on the sabs, but if we look at the police force’s form, it is unlikely to take action.


Quantock stag hounds murders a stag
Quantock stag hounds murders a stag in April 2023. Photo via North Dorset Hunt Sabs


Writing for Protect the Wild, an anonymous hunt monitor explained in a series of The Secret Monitor posts that the hunt’s supporters, who spread out over the Quantock Hills and prevent deer from getting away, are sadistic. The monitor said:

“There are hunt supporters and then there are the Quantock Stag Hounds supporters. If there was a scale on which you could measure depravity, you might put average hunt supporters somewhere near petty thieves, but Quantock supporters are right up there next to the most cruel sadists. Watching the hunt slaughter deer seems to be what they live for…”

The Secret Monitor also pointed out that the hunt carries plenty of firearms across the Quantock Hills, risking public lives, as this is an area frequented by people enjoying wildlife. Yet Avon and Somerset Police still don’t act. The monitor wrote:

“It is impossible to understand how this is allowed to carry on. Officers in their individual capacities can see the risks and the dangers, but it would appear this carries no weight with those further up the chain of command at Avon and Somerset Police.”

Support those on the ground

While the police are uninterested in upholding the Hunting Act and saving the lives of Somerset’s stags, the animals’ only line of defence is the monitors and saboteurs on the ground. But as you can see from this latest incident, by putting their bodies in the way, they can be risking their lives.

Because of this, it’s essential that we show hunt saboteurs our support. You can do this by donating to them. North Dorset Sabs are appealing for funds to replace their £500 camera which was broken in this attack.

  • Please donate to North Dorset Sabs by PayPal here.

Featured images courtesy of North Dorset Hunt Sabs


The Secret Monitor

The first four posts by ‘The Secret Monitor’ expose the realities of deer hunts and their supporters, with a special focus on the law-breaking Quantock Stag Hounds. Please read