Hunt apology after hounds go on the run

David Jones of Farnborough
David Jones of Farnborough

A huntmaster has apologised after hounds ran through a village garden and towards a nursery school in possible pursuit of a fox.

Sam Butler, of the Warwickshire Hunt, offered the apology in response to strong criticism after the hounds picked up the scent of a fox in Farnborough on Monday.

The hounds ran through one garden and towards Little Grasshoppers Kindergarden in Main Street.

Villager David Jones, 71, said: “I saw the dogs racing around. I immediately saw red and raced to shoo them away when they were in my neighbour’s garden. It’s an absolute disgrace. I saw children cowering inside the school.”

Rachael Morgan, manager of Little Grasshoppers, added: “I have never seen anything like this before. We know what the hunt does but it is very different seeing it close up, especially when the men were trying to keep the dogs away.”

In response, huntmaster Sam Butler said: “If this caused any distress or concern we offer our sincere apologies. We laid a trail in one of the fields outside the village and I’m afraid the dogs must have lost the smell and caught scent of a fox in the village. One of our members went out to the nursery to apologise in person on Monday and again on Tuesday to speak to concerned residents.

“Something like this should not happen. It is not what the hunt is about and we offer our sincere apologies.”

Warwickshire Police were made aware of the incident and have confirmed investigations are ongoing.