Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Horse show is a PR boost for fox hunting

THE lavish spectacle that was last week's Dublin Horse Show again showcased Ireland's equestrian industry. Sadly, this annual event also serves as a major PR boost to fox hunting.

We see representatives of various hunts in action, jumping fences and negotiating natural obstacles that replicate to a degree the rugged and challenging sweep of the countryside.

We are also treated to displays of traditional hunt pageantry: packs of hounds on their best behaviour, wagging their tails as they canter before the horses in ceremonial postcard fashion.

A benign image, but something is missing from the pretty picture: the fox. In a true-life hunting scenario, the pomp and pageantry quickly descends into a frenzy of blood-lust as the pack closes in on its prey.

Instead, we get the sanitised version, neatly packaged to whitewash one of the world's most barbaric bloodsports.

JOHN FITZGERALD

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