The order of the day was that the horse riders would ride in on their horses wearing their red jackets after stopping off at local pubs for a drink. They arrive in Guildhall Square to cheering crowds before going out for a hunt. They arrived to great fanfare as we protestors who numbered around twenty stood on the steps. The horses and riders all crowded in front of us and the hounds ran feely through the crowd and between the protestors. The horses were nervous and some riders could not control them and they skittered into each other. The dogs running between their legs did not help. Our worries that the riders had been drinking too much to safely “manage their vehicle” (if a horse counts as a vehicle) were confirmed when a woman bearing a tray of wine glasses was weaving in and out of the horses to offer the riders a tipple when a horse reared and knocked her over and the glasses all shattered on the pavement. We were upset as there was broken glass that could easily cut the tender feet of dogs or nearby children. Can a horse get glass lodged in a hoof? I didn’t want to find out. A policeman came and quickly swept the glass up. We shouted at them for using real glass around animals--a health and safety issue. They shouted at us saying “ You think we MEANT for that to happen?”
There was lots of shouting. We shouted BOOOOO when crowds were cheering. I did not want to hurl abuse, the Quaker in me would not let me. But I did shout SHAME! and CRUELTY IS NOT A SPORT! because I firmly believe that blood sports are wrong. Someone shouted “There are two arseholes on a horse, one on the horse and the other sitting on top of the horse!” which made me laugh, but I did not want to name call. I wanted to pray for everyone.