THE HUNT GIRLS
We arrived at the riding school on a bright summer's morning, Sandra, Melissa
and myself, Kate. We're all instructors at the school but we had no pupil
appointments that day because the local hunt was meeting, and we were riding
with it. In England, horse riding and fox hunting are so intertwined that not
riding to hounds would cut us off from most of our business contacts.
Sandra was driving a Landrover and I had my old Landcruiser because we
needed to tow two horseboxes to take our three horses to the hunt rendezvous.
Nothing had seemed unusual until we opened the stable door. Inside, hanging from
the wooden beams, was a long banner with hand painted red lettering on it: "THE
LEAGUE AGAINST BLOOD SPORTS".
"What the hell is that doing here?" Sandra had demanded angrily. Tall,
strong, and always the dominant one, she led us inside the stables.
We all knew about the league. They're violently opposed to fox hunting and
game bird shooting. We also knew they'd been active around the district for a
while, mainly spreading false scents for the hounds during the hunts. That
wasn't something which bothered us personally, but what had upset us was finding
some tripwires tied between trees where the fake scents had been laid. It seemed
strange behavior for so-called animal lovers to set traps to kill and injure our
horses, let alone the people riding them.
So that was why Sandra was so concerned about finding the banner in our
stables. It wasn't the league's attitudes towards fox hunting which worried us,
it was the fanatical and dangerous lengths some of them were going to in
promoting their cause. If the ones who had broken into our stables overnight
were as plain nutty as the wire riggers there was no telling what damage they
might have done. But somehow it never occurred to us that maybe they hadn't gone
away after putting up their banner. I suppose we were too concerned about what
might have happened to our horses.
It wasn't until we were well inside the stables that we realized our
mistake. Somebody shouted out, the top and bottom doors of the nearest loose
boxes were thrown open and a whole crowd of people came charging out, each of
their faces hidden by a party mask shaped like a fox's head and all of them
wearing identical blue overalls as if it was a kind of uniform. They looked --
and acted -- like a bunch of bank robbers working to a pre-arranged plan. As
they surrounded us they grabbed our arms, dragging us towards the tack room. I
could hear Sandra shouting with anger and Melissa squealing as well, but none of
our assailants took any notice.
It seemed there were perhaps eight or nine of them altogether. Most of
them were males, young strong ones, but at least two of the blue overalls were
also covering what were obviously girls' bodies, though they seemed to be
holding onto us just as tightly as the boys were. At any event the three of us
were completely surprised and overwhelmed by the totally unexpected assault. It
just seemed so organized that it was unbelievable -- right down to the odd fact
that each of the overalls had a number painted on the front and back, numbers
which seemed to have been put on with the same paint and brush used to write the
We were pushed and shoved towards a big table which had been moved to the
middle of the room and now had some horse blankets spread out on top of it. The
gang clearly intended we should bend over the table, but we finally started
resisting as much as we could. Sandra was making the most determined efforts to
get loose, aided by her height and strength. She's almost six foot tall, a
horsewoman so good and so athletic she has a genuine chance of riding in the
One of the men, taller even than Sandra, appeared beside her and did
something which made her yelp.
"Bend over you stubborn bitch" he snarled. Sandra whimpered and then
leaned forward over the table without the slightest sign of any further
IN THE MEMBERS SECTION