Wynnstay Hunt supporter filmed giving nazi salute to hunt monitor

The Wynnstay Hunt’s questionable reputation reached a new low on 7 February 2023 when a prominent hunt supporter harassed a hunt monitor, repeatedly performing the Nazi salute at her.

Lesley, a Cheshire Monitors volunteer, was on foot, observing and filming the hunt. Field riders blocked her way, while a man called Ian Jones continually talked at her, making comparisons between Lesley and the Nazis.

Video Cheshire Monitors

Lesley told Protect The Wild:

“Ian Jones is a regular hunt harasser. He rides around after the hunt, and used to run on foot with the Wynnstay hounds. He’s at a lot of the Wynnstay meets, and he goes to other hunts, too. He has a long history with hunting.”

We asked Lesley whether the Wynnstay field riders and staff are friends with Jones. She replied:

“The Wynnstay welcomes him. Lord Daresbury  – one of the hunt’s main benefactors – and his wife Claire Daresbury were riding that day. Claire was blocking my way with her horse. They both should have silenced him, but Claire just laughed at him instead.”

‘We will gas you all’

Jones continually got in Lesley’s face, saying to her:

“My grandparents had a bit of a problem with somebody like you in Europe. I think the fact that you’re here and you’re doing what you’re doing says it all.”

He continued, performing the Nazi salute repeatedly:

“The Fourth Reich according to Lesley. You will not hunt, you will not live, we will gas you all.”

Lesley said:

“He was obstructing me, trying to goad me into saying something on his little necklace camera that he wears. He accused me of being a Hitler and a fascist. He’s just an irritation, a broken soul like the rest of them.”

Performing the Nazi salute is deeply offensive, and is illegal in a number of European countries. And, of course, it is delusional to make such accusations at monitors whose purpose is to save animals from being killed. Cheshire Monitors have made a complaint to West Mercia police, and have passed on all footage to them.

Preventing monitors from getting to hounds

At the same time as she was being harassed by Jones, Lesley was told by Lord Daresbury to keep away from the hounds, while his wife rode her horse in Lesley’s path, preventing her from moving forward. Lesley said:

“They were making excuses to stop me using the road. Usually they don’t keep me away. Now I realise it was likely that there was a hound injured up the road because there was a silver pickup truck which they use to pick up injured hounds. Daresbury accused us as a group of whipping the hounds. I’m a grandmother: what would I do to their hounds? They were trying to keep me occupied so they could do whatever it was they were doing with the hounds. They really don’t like you being near if a hound has been injured and they packed up straight away after that.”

A criminal hunt

Monitors say that they have witnessed the Wynnstay chasing and killing foxes numerous times. In late 2022, huntsman Chris Woodward narrowly escaped being found guilty of illegal hunting after the CPS dropped a monitor’s video evidence from a trial “at the eleventh hour”. At the same time, Woodward was on trial for another incident of illegal hunting after North Wales Police officers also witnessed Woodward chasing a fox on a different date. But he was found not guilty of this charge, too.

The pressure of being caught on film by monitors has become too much for Woodward, and in January 2023 he rode his horse at one Cheshire Monitors volunteer, threatening to “fucking kill” him. The incident is currently being investigated by the police.

On top of this, Cheshire Monitors says that West Mercia police is looking into “major road havoc” after the hunt chased a fox down a main road.

The Wynnstay is also linked to two men, who were convicted of digging out an active badger sett in August 2021.

Support the monitors on the ground

Cheshire Monitors has previously told Protect The Wild that the Wynnstay is “haemorrhaging support and land to hunt on.” Surely footage of Claire Daresbury, one of their most prominent field riders, laughing at a man while he repeatedly performs the Nazi salute, won’t do them any favours.

Lesley told Protect The Wild:

“I see everything as an opportunity to expose them, and it doesn’t matter what they say to us or about us, we will still be here.”

  • Support Cheshire Monitors volunteers by donating to them.
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  • Tip off Cheshire Monitors about any hunts meeting, or due to meet, in Cheshire or the surrounding counties, including the Wynnstay, Cheshire Hounds (Cheshire Hunt), Cheshire Forest and Cheshire Beagles. Send them a message via Facebook or text 07949 948822, or you can also email them at if the tip-off is more than a day in advance.

Screengrab and video via Cheshire Monitors