Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been avid in support of the hunt (though not a participant) since the spiteful decision by MPs to ban hunting with dogs. Been chatting to an avid huntsman over the weekend. The Tanatside Hunt now meet on my main farm twice a year, and he was showing me some photographs of the event on his mobile phone. We got talking about the amazing turnout at Welshpool last Boxing Day. He related unto me an amusing little story.
On Boxing Day for many decades now, horseboxes have parked up in Welshpool's Church St. Car Park and the mounted have then trotted along Church St to the starting point of the hunt, outside the Royal Oak. Today we applaud each one as they pass (all 65 this year). It wasn't always like that. A few years ago, when the hunt was in need of friends, there was a general policy amongst riders that they would doff their hats deferentially, and greet everyone who had turned out to show support - a sort of PR exercise. Anyway, my friend recounted an occasion when he was riding and doffing, when he passed a very elderly, small and frail lady, who had clearly made a great effort to turn out, so he was especially effusive in his greeting "The best greetings of this wonderful festive season to you ma'am". She looked him straight in his eye and said "I hope you break your f***ing leg".