- Residents claim around 40 horses sped through Tetbury, Gloucestershire
- Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt allegedly chased hounds through the streets
- Spokesman for the hunt said riders had been delayed
19:53 EST, 5 December 2013
20:26 EST, 5 December 2013
Prince Charles’s favourite hunt will be investigated by police for rampaging through a Cotswold town – allegedly chasing a fox.
Residents claim around 40 horses from the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt chased a pack of hounds who sped through Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
Shoppers said they had to jump out of the way when 15 hounds ran through quiet streets on Monday.
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Beaufort Hunt: Residents claim around 40 horses from the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt chased a pack of hounds through the streets (file picture)
Peter Martin, 51, said a fox ran past his garden gate, pursued by dogs.
He said: ‘I was on the phone looking out the window and saw a fox legging it past my gate, closely followed by a pack of hounds thundering down the road. I spoke to a lady who had seen them soon after by St Mary’s Church. They had gone all the way into town.’
He said neighbours were too frightened to report the hunt to police.
‘I spoke to a clearly frightened, distressed woman who had seen the hunt, but she didn’t want to leave her name,’ he added.
Jamie Smith, owner of Bath Bridge Barbers, said: ‘I had to get out the way. There were about 15 dogs.’
Another resident said: ‘They leapt into my garden from the field and then ran into the road. I’m surprised they didn’t get run over.’
‘Ran through the streets’: Residents say the hounds chased the fox through the quiet streets of Tetbury, Gloucestershire
But members of the hunt – popular with Princes Charles, William and Harry, who were once regulars at the Boxing Day meeting – claim they were trail hunting. This means the hounds follow a scent that is dragged over a course in advance.
Sue Ferguson, a hunt member, said: ‘The hounds were as good as gold and nobody looked scared of them. There was certainly no fox in the High Street and the hunt would never chase one intentionally.’
A spokesman for the Beaufort Hunt said the hounds had run loose in the village because riders were delayed by an ‘unexpected wire’.
Fox hunting as a sport was banned in England in 2004. Police confirmed they were investigating.