We have received this email today:
At an EGM held last night (04/08/2022) at SUTCOMBE village hall, members of the Tetcott Hunt voted 11 to 4 (unconfirmed) to place the TETCOTT HUNT into SUSPENSION
The Chair of the TETCOTT hunt a Mrs. EMMA HART and Secretary a Mrs. JENNY NICHOLLS explained that due to the recent sudden and unexpected immediate resignation of the last remaining MASTER DIANA STEVENS, together with the continued lack of support, and poor attendance at both hunt meets and events, and for financial reasons, the committee had agreed, even though at the 2021 AGM and despite facing massive difficulties and very poor support, they had voted to continue hunting for another year, they were now left with no alternative but to call an EGM to propose the suspension of the Tetcott Hunt.
A Gentleman attendee who introduced himself as a FORMER MASTER of the Tetcott Hunt (Name Unknown) asked why had it not been advertised the Tetcott Hunt needed Masters, He would have been prepared to take the position again, the chair and secretary then explained that actually, the OFFICERS had taken the decision to propose to suspend anyway for financial reasons. This prompted questions from their own COMMITTEE MEMBERS, who asked “when did we discuss and agree to this as a committee?” with some rather red faces the officers present explained that perhaps actually it wasn’t discussed at committee level and the lack of support and poor finances simply meant the hunt could not continue regardless.
Questions and concerns were then expressed by many from the floor regarding the Tetcott HOUNDS and their welfare. ACTING HUNTSMAN and HOUND TRUSTEE ANDREW NICHOLLS explained he had not been able to approach other packs as to their ability to take Tetcott Hounds until the decision had been formally made to suspend the hunt. His WIFE and SECRETARY Jenny explained, that if the proposal was made to suspend, and hounds were left at the Kennels after such time as the Tetcott Kennel Hand currently employed by the Tetcott and whom it is understood has been given notice to quit, then “her husband” would MOVE into the kennels to ensure hound welfare and stay until such time as all hounds are draughted.
Members of the floor not satisfied by this non-committal answer sought confirmation and confirmation no hounds would be euthanised as normally happens when hunts fold. An attendee explained regrettably this had happened at the North Cornwall Hunt following the collapse of the South Cornwall Hunt, and despite best intentions, many hounds had to be destroyed.
The Regional representative of the MFHA Paul Hancock who was present was asked by the floor would the MFHA oversee and commit to the safe re-homing of hounds and ensure no hounds were destroyed?, a Mr RICHARD TYACKE Director of the MFHA stood up and explained he would answer this question on behalf of Mr. Hancock (Four Burrow Hunt) and the MFHA and said whilst they would do their very best they simply were not able to commit or guarantee that hounds would not be DESTROYED should the Tetcott Hunt Fold.
Then followed more heated and personal exchanges between the members present and the committee, officers, and MFHA which at one point even saw members walk out.
A member then asked why the proposed merger between the Tetcott and South Tetcott had fallen through, a Mr. SIMON KERSLAKE an ex-master and former chairman of the SOUTH TETCOTT HUNT requested to address the audience in respect of this merger which he explained he had been at all of the meetings regarding the merger talks, although the reasons for the failure for the merger were not given. Mr. Richard Tyacke from the MFHA also explained his and the MFHA’s deep disappointment at this failure for the two hunts to merge and he also said they had tried to work with both hunts but it was clear there had been a clash of personalities between the two hunt committees and whilst those officers remained in office no merger between hunts would happen.
Questions about the state of the hunt’s financial affairs were then put to the officers of the TETCOTT, with one noticeably and perhaps an embarrassingly empty chair at the top table, that of the same former Master Diana Stevens, whom members were told remains in office as TREASURER despite her sudden departure as a Master, but WAS NOT present to answer the member’s or committees questions surrounding the hunt finances nor had sent apologies.
When questioned, It was confirmed the Tetcott Hunt Committee would remain in office and attempt to rent out the kennels property (ROWDEN FARM Kilkhampton Cornwall) which it is understood they own until such time loans on the property are repaid and the hunt would remain in suspension indefinitely and the hounds moved to other hunts where possible on the understanding they would go back to the TETCOTT should they ever resume hunting. When questioned if the Tetcott “Country” would now be hunted or given to adjoining Hunts the officers and MFHA explained it would remain whilst the Tetcott is in suspension Tetcott country and could be hunted by other packs “by invitation” but would not be given up unless another EGM is called and a motion proposed and passed to WIND UP the Tetcott Hunt.
Mr Tyack suggested of course should perhaps “some wealthy person” move into the hunt “country” the current disputes and difficulties amongst the hunt resolved and refreshed support established then there would always be the possibility the hunt could resume, but this was of course however extremely unlikely.
Many members of the audience whom professed to have been “hunting all their life” proclaimed this was a “sad day” and “you will never see the Tetcott hunt again”
The Meeting, very much it would seem like the Tetcott Hunt itself was then brought to a close.