The Hounds of Hornby Castle

Hundreds of supporters gathered to watch the 110-year old hunt and its harrier hounds meet at Hornby Castle, for the last time, before the ban on hunting with dogs came into force earlier this year.

Surrounded by his pack of baying dogs, whose ancestors had hunted throughout the area over 100 years, Master of the Hunt, Clive Richardson, also voiced his anger at the ban.

"I am heart broken, this is the end of everything - it is part of our life and our history. I cannot understand this government that wants to stop everything that is English," he said, according to local reports of the final hunt.

In the latter part of the most recent century the estate of Hornby Castle was owned by Roger Clutterbuck, Esquire, who figures among the contemporary people of distinction in the updated edition of Burke's Landed Gentry and was featured in Issue 26 of Country Life in 1989. R.E.H. Clutterbuck was actively involved in the historic sport of fox hunting, not only granting permission for the use of Hornby Castle for numerous hunts, but also as a judge.

But the Vale of Lune Harriers have had their historic last hunt and are now chasing scented fell runners, after the ban on hunting with dogs became the law of the land. Here's how one local paper described the end of an era.
The hunt gathered at Hornby Castle where the Vale of Lune Harriers officially began 110 years ago.

Clive Richardson, master huntsman who bred the hounds, said: "I have bred every hound here today and when I take them back to the kennel it will be for the last time."

However, the Vale of Lune Harriers will continue to hunt using a pack of the Three Counties Bloodhounds which follow a scent without killing the animal.

On Saturday a fell runner was given a 20-minute head start and the hounds were released. The bloodhounds followed the scent of the runner's shoes.

Mr Richardson said: "This is as close as you can get to replicating the hunt, but it is the unpredictability of the hunt that attracts people. "With the bloodhounds it is now just a cosmetic exercise."

Hounds used in the hunt will be continued to be bred at the kennels in Hornby to keep the original lineage alive.

Mr Richardson said: "Hunting has to survive until a day when the tradition can be reinstated."


At 10:41 AM, Blogger Dan Filson said...

The first Clutterbuck owner of Hornby Castle (Yorkshire) was my great-uncle Major-General Walter E Clutterbuck who bought it, probably to be near Catterick army base, in the 1920s after he sold Hardenhuish House nr Chippenham, wiltshire which had been the family seat for the previous century. Walter, the brother of my maternal grandmother Mrs M H L Rokeling (nee Clutterbuck, widow 1916 of Major Ronald henry Greig DSO), was a sweet old man who it was hard to believe had been a general in North Africa during the Tunisia campaign; I can well imagine him being fond of hunting also.


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