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Appalling behaviour by stewards at Dorset Hunt

This footage was filmed on March 31st 2015 at the closing meet of the South Dorset Hunt at Studland. Dorset Sabs had already been subjected to similar behaviour from SD and BSV hunt employees throughout last season but things escalated at the closing meet. We had just arrived and were walking down a road when this happened. You will see Simon Wakeley jump off the quad and launch himself straight at a sab. He then steals a map. He is joined by another colleague, who we believe to be Ben Doggrell (usually a steward with the BSV, but had travelled down for the day for a bit of fun) and you will hear some choice language from him.

The whipper in, Steve Barrow was informed afterwards of their appalling behaviour but he just laughed and carried on. Police were then informed and arrived at the scene but left as they were "busy" despite sabs voicing their concerns that events would escalate. Unfortunately things did indeed escalate and culminated in a completely unprovoked attack on sabs who were actually leaving the area and nowhere near the hunt. A female sab ended up a fractured arm. The Police were again called and all the video evidence was submitted. Simon Wakeley has just received a caution under Sect 1 of the Theft Act (1968). The final attack is still subject to ongoing criminal proceedings but we hope to be able to release that video very soon. Shame on you South Dorset Hunt and fox hunters everywhere who at worst encourage this sort of behaviour or at best ignore or even laugh at it. You are all complicit.


A steward with the South Dorset Fox Hunt has this week received a caution for theft following an incident at a fox hunt meet in Studland on 31/3/15. The video shows the man, Simon Wakely and a number of his fellow “hunt stewards” approach Dorset Hunt Sabs (DHS) on four quad bikes. There were two female and two male sabs. Wakely is then seen to launch himself from the quad straight into a sab. DHS report that this attack was completely unprovoked as they had only just arrived in the area when the attack happened. The video then shows Wakely and his colleagues abusing, harassing and intimidating the sabs, who respond in a non-violent manner. Wakely is joined by a masked colleague who is holding a blue bag with unknown contents. The week before, sabs had been water-bombed with balloons filled with foul smelling water so there was some concern as to the contents of this bag. Wakely then steals a map from a male sab. A masked thug is then seen intimidating a female sab who has been knocked down. Wakely uses this opportunity to steal her map as well and then runs down the road. The incident was reported to the whipper in of the South Dorset Hunt, Steve Barrow, who laughed and did nothing. Police were called and interviewed DHS but left the scene without taking evidence or interviewing the offenders. Later in the day, as sabs were leaving the scene, the hunt violence escalated unfortunately culminating in a female sab sustaining a serious injury.

All video evidence was submitted to the Police and Wakely received a caution this week under Section 1 of the Theft Act (1968). DHS are awaiting news re possible further charges. DHS have been victim to persistent threatening acts of intimidation, violence and aggression from Dorset “hunt stewards” over the past year, since a Dorset sab was knocked to the ground by a huntsman on his horse and sustained serious injuries. As a result, Huntsman Mark Doggrell has been charged with GBH and the criminal case is ongoing. DHS are non-confrontational and non-violent and are simply there to ensure that the Dorset hunts do not break the law by illegally hunting our wildlife. The “hunt stewards” are there to impede DHS so that they cannot gather evidence of criminal activity. On this day, sabs were not even near the hunt but simply fell victim to an all too familiar sab-bashing mentality reminiscent of football hooliganism.

Dorset Hunt Sabs

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