Substitute fox

Dominic Bliss of the London (UK) Financial Times posted a story about runners substituting as foxes under the headline, “Dominic Bliss Goes On A Manhunt.” It’s a pretty fascinating account.

It’s a chilly Saturday in the village of Out Rawcliffe, just a few miles east of Blackpool.

At Peagram’s Farm, 35 excited riders – the huntsmen in smart red jackets, the rest in black or tweed – are waiting for the hunt to start. They sip port and sherry to brace themselves against the wind coming in off the Irish Sea, while their finely groomed horses jig their heads and stamp their hooves.

Below them, whining and barking in anticipation, is a pack of about two dozen bloodhounds. Mingling with the dogs, and looking decidedly apprehensive, are two “foxes” – Richard Davies, a 49-year-old civil servant from Kirkham, and Matthew Ray, a 32-year-old (off-duty) journalist from Brighton. Both are accomplished athletes.

As they pet the hounds, allowing the animals to memorise their scent, the master huntsman Clive Richardson offers a few words of encouragement. “Don’t worry,” he says. “When a limb’s torn from you, it really doesn’t bleed that much.”

Read Mr. Bliss’ complete account. Thanks to MZF for the hint; she also suggested a tri-athalon version: “In fact, the sport could be expanded in scope–Ironmanhunt! Using horses and bloodhounds for the run, dirt bikes and cheetahs for the ride, and jet skis and trained dolphins (or sharks–no, killer whales…) for the swim.”


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Filed under Amusements, News, Running

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