NEWS AND COMMENT: I will start this article by showing two screenshot images from a Twitter video made by the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs from a Cottesmore Hunt followed by the video. They are self-explanatory. The RSPCA is investigating. The Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs said: “Yesterday we filmed a @CottesmoreHunt rider kicking and punching her horse in the face. Watched on by lackeys Will Ashmore and son Ed. Violence running through their veins”. She has paid a heavy price (see update at base of page).
Yesterday we filmed a @CottesmoreHunt rider kicking and punching her horse in the face.
Watched on by lackeys Will Ashmore and son Ed.
Violence running through their veins.@RSPCA_official pic.twitter.com/s37BlR4Hv3
— Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs (@HertsHuntSabs) November 7, 2021
Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
The horse was being uncooperative while being led into a horsebox. This woman comes across and firstly she kicks the horse in the leg and then slaps the horse around the face. The horse then appears to be cooperative and goes into the horsebox. Her behaviour has been condemned by the UK’s national body for hunting.
The Hunting Office which is responsible for administering foxhunting in Britain said that they expect the highest levels of animal welfare. Comment: funny that, when foxhunting itself is totally against animal welfare.
I have to agree with the saboteurs when they say that violence and nasty behaviour runs through foxhunters’ veins. They are an arrogant lot who just don’t understand that what they’re doing is out of step with modern culture and thinking. It’s a throwback to a bygone age when people were more ignorant. Foxhunters are unenlightened.
It is banned in Britain but the saboteurs have exposed wrongdoing in that organisers tend to pretend they are trail hunting when they are really foxhunting. That is another scandal which surfaced recently.
As a result of that, the National Trust members voted to ban trail hunts on its land. They fear that trail hunting can be used as a smokescreen for illegal foxhunts. The Hunting Act 2004 bans using dogs to chase or kill foxes and trail hunting is a simulation of foxhunting in which the scent of a foxes is putdown and the dogs chase it. It allows these people to ride over the countryside on their horses without killing foxes.
The National Trust vote was quite conclusive with more than 38,000 members against trail hunting on trust land with 18,000 abstentions out of about 77,000 votes.
To return to the Twitter video on this page, the wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham asked the RSPCA to investigate the matter urgently and prosecute this animal abuse.
His daughter, Meghan McCubbin, a presenter on the BBC show Springwatch, tweeted: “Anyone with information please come forward to RSPCA! Disgusting behaviour – this woman needs to be prosecuted. Yet another ugly side of an activity some call ‘sport’.”
The RSPCA have stated that the footage is upsetting and they will look into it. Comment: this sort of behaviour by foxhunters does not surprise me in the slightest. As mentioned, they are an arrogant, entitled lot living in a bygone age. Their behaviour in the past, when foxhunting was allowed, was cruel and from my perspective barbaric. As shown in the video cruelty is part of their culture.
“If you can boot your horse and slap and punch it in the face in full view for everyone to see. Only concern is what is she’s gonna do to that horse when she gets back from driving home.” – Marc Pieterse who commented on the video in a tweet.
Update November 9, one day later: The rider concerned is Sarah Moulds, 37, a teacher at Somerby primary school and a director of the Knossington & Somerby pre-school. She is also a team leader of the Cottesmore branch of the Pony Club and co-organiser of next year’s junior summer camp. Her Facebook profile has been deleted as has the above listing as a team leader.
The video on this page has been seen 2.8 million times. Leicester police have said that they have been made aware of the video on social media and also state that the RSPCA is leading the investigation but they are supporting.
Update: December 21, 2021: the woman concerned, Sarah Moulds has lost her job at the Mowbray Education Trust in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire as a consequence of the video. The chief operating officer of that trust, Paul Maddox said: “I can confirm that Sarah Moulds’ employment with the Trust has been terminated.”
She has also been banned from attending the Cottesmore Hunt. They said, “a follower will not participate in trail hunting”.
And finally, a local pony club had previously removed Moulds from her voluntary position with them.
Update: as at January 31, 2022: the woman has attended the magistrates’ court and elected to go to a Crown Court trial by jury, as I understand it. Initially, she will attend a pre-trial review and will be on unconditional bail pending that hearing. She is going to defend herself all the way. This is despite the fact that, as mentioned, her alleged abuse and cruelty against this horse was videoed. The big question will be whether this woman’s actions in striking the horse were cruel and an abuse of the horse.
MORE ON HORSES: