The Countryman's Weekly

Mixed Bag

Mixed Bag
December 13
08:08 2017

WEB2-13-12-17Is there a countrysports class war?

By Matt Limb.

WITH almost a fifth of this century having passed there is still a perception of a class division among some countrysports by the wider public, but is there? I was recently chatting about hunting and what an enjoyable season I had last year following one particular Hunt, and saying how friendly and welcoming they were.

The gent I was talking to did not hunt and was not anti-hunting or have any great knowledge of hunting. However, he still commented: “Yes, maybe a lot of people are involved in hunting and are welcoming but it’s only the toffs that get to ride.” How wrong could he be?

I do find it frustrating that a century after so many great estates were broken up, which happened at the end of the Edwardian age after World War One, there is still a perception often portrayed in the media of an Upstairs, Downstairs picture across many countrysports. I do have to ask if the recent, and in my mind very well done, television programme Downton Abbey has embedded such thoughts in the general public’s mind? Will it become even more embedded as the traditional Christmas cards arrive in the coming weeks depicting the customary rural Victorian hunting and shooting scenes?

As we know nothing could be further from the truth. Since The Hunting Act came into force there has never been more support for hunting across the country and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than the recent Countryside Alliance’s Hunting Newcomers’ Week, which is promoted yearly.




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