Jeremy Clarkson drinks his Hawkstone lager

Jeremy Clarkson sponsors fox hunting fundraiser

Fox-hater Jeremy Clarkson is sponsoring a horse racing event that is raising funds for the criminal Heythrop Hunt.

This Sunday 21 January the Cocklebarrow Races will take place in Gloucestershire. It is the Heythrop’s only point-to-point event of the year, and is a big money-maker. Not only will hunting fanatics be racing horses, they will also be exploiting their terriers, beagles and lurchers by racing them, too.

Clarkson’s Hawkstone beer brand is one of the main sponsors of the event, and Hawkstone lagers will be available to drink at the bar.

A point-to-point is an amateur horse racing event that makes substantial money for hunts. The Heythrop Hunt recorded their point-to-point income as £15,000 over 2019 and 2020. In a society where public opinion of fox hunting is at an all-time low, events like this give hunts a desperate lifeline, enabling them to survive. And so Clarkson’s decision to sponsor the point-to-point is significant. Not only is he supporting the exploitation of horses and dogs, he is sponsoring some of the most disgusting forms of animal cruelty in the UK – the chasing and tearing up of foxes.

Clarkson’s shtick as ‘wildlife-hating farmer’

If you know a little about Clarkson, it will come as little surprise that he has chosen to support the Heythrop Hunt. Protect the Wild has previously reported on his hatred of badgers, but the TV presenter-turned-farmer makes no secret of his disgust for foxes. On his Amazon programme Clarkson’s Farm, the unthinking man’s mouthpiece moaned that he wasn’t legally allowed to shoot or gas foxes, calling them “ghastly animals”.

He has gone further with his vocal hatred of foxes, previously saying:

“Let’s be perfectly clear, shall we. The fox is not a little orange puppy dog with doe eyes and a waggly tail. It’s a disease-ridden wolf with the morals of a psychopath and the teeth of a great white shark.”

He has also taken to social media to share his loathing of foxes with his fans, too. Clarkson once made the unbelievable claim that a single fox had murdered 34 of his chickens in one night, and his followers were only too happy to call the animals vermin.

Clarkson also has hares in his sights. Hunt saboteurs have previously reported on how the TV presenter hosted illegal hare hunting on National Bassett Hunting Day, at his home near Chipping Norton. Berkshire Hunt Sabs wrote of Clarkson:

“Jeremy is a keen supporter of hare and fox hunts and proudly hosts meets, and allows the hunt on his land.”


Jeremy Clarkson attempts to shoot pigeons
Jeremy Clarkson attempts to shoot pigeons. Photo via F1Briefings/screenshot


It shouldn’t come as a shock, then, that Clarkson also likes to shoot down pigeons, and that he is a trigger-happy pheasant-killer, too. Clarkson previously wrote in the Sunday Times:

“As we are now in the season, it’s a good time to address the issue of game shooting. I enjoy it very much but I’m well aware that all of the nation’s vegetablists — and several enthusiastic meat eaters as well — think it’s disgusting that, in this day and age, a pack of usually drunk Hoorays are allowed to rampage around the countryside in tweed shorts and Range Rovers, killing God’s little creatures for fun.”

He then went on to talk about the pheasants and partridges that he rears himself to be shot for fun. He said of the birds:

” They barely qualify as creatures as they have the intelligence of an ironing board and the personality of a Liberal Democrat.”

He then went on to give tips on how best to shoot pheasants, and stated that those of us who want to end pheasant shooting are “waging a class war.”

A criminal hunt

As for the Heythrop Hunt, it is the only hunt in the UK to have been convicted as a corporate body under the Hunting Act. In 2012, the hunt pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs in the Cotswolds. But because Hunting Act legislation – and the punishments meted out to those convicted – are so minimal, this didn’t stop the hunt from continuing to murder foxes.

The Heythrop is so unconcerned about following the law that it has employed one of the most notorious huntsmen in the country, Chris Woodward. Woodward has appeared in court four times in the past year, and has been convicted of different hunting-related offences three times in the past six months. In December 2023, he was convicted under the Hunting Act after Cheshire Borderlands Monitors filmed the Wynnstay Hunt’s hounds – where Woodward previously worked – chasing a fox. The prosecutor said to the huntsman:

“It was a thrill, an opportunity, and you allowed [the hounds] to pursue the fox.”

The fact that Woodward is still free to terrorise Britain’s wildlife – and the fact that the Heythrop was so keen to employ such a blatant hunter – shows how flawed the Hunting Act is.

Hunts like the Heythrop need to be shut down for good, not romanticised during countryside fundraisers. As for Clarkson’s sponsorship of the Heythrop point-to-point, the man has such contempt for swathes of Britain’s wildlife that we should expect nothing better of the controversy-courting presenter turned ‘farmer’.


  • Featured image via Clarkson’s Farm/screenshot