Mounted hunting is a huge fraternity of people with a passion which takes on a lifestyle that is shared wherever foxhunters travel. They invite you to come hunt with them, lend you a horse, throw a dinner party, host you in their homes and thank you when you leave. It is the same wherever you go. How does that happen?
Well, in England it happens because of people like Alastair Jackson. He has provided advice, information, help and made sacrifices that make hunting safer, fun and easier for us. But, even more so, he dedicated his life to helping to save this great sport for future generations.
Alastair and I have coordinated and worked together since he first came into office 15 years ago. His reputation as a huntsman, judge of hounds and author are legendary. He gave up the horn to continue to contribute to the sport in every manner possible. Many of us here in America have received Alastair’s help in finding a hunt professional, finding a place to hunt in England and/or seen his efforts organizing and working to save hunting in England with England’s MFHA and the Countryside Alliance. He has judged numerous major hound shows in England and America. He and his beautiful wife Tessa have made a mark in the hunting world, not just England.
So it is with great fondness and regret to see Alastair leave hunting, although I’m sure he won’t be far from the thick of things even in retirement. Stephen Lambert, Chairman of the British MFHA, made the following announcement:
On April 30th Alastair retires as Director of the MFHA, a post he has held since 1997 and also as Director of the Council of Hunting Associations. In his 15 years in office he has worked with 3 Chairmen of the MFHA and heaven knows how many Masters, Hunt Chairmen and Staff. To all of us he has imparted the soundest advice and wisdom – derived without any doubt from the 24 distinguished years he himself garnered as a Master of Hounds.
I cannot begin to describe what a help and support he has been to me personally, and I know to so many of you also, when difficulties and challenges have arisen in our respective countries. His calm, measured and articulate counsel has supported us and enabled us to resolve all sorts of questions, whether emergencies or routine. Furthermore, the Hunting Office under his command has always been a very efficient set up, with happy staff.
The plan is to present Alastair with a cheque at the MFHA Annual General Meeting at Cheltenham on Tuesday, May 29th as a token of our thanks for his wonderful service to hunting over so many years. Accordingly, I invite you (and/or your Hunt), to contribute to his testimonial. Payments should be made via the internet direct into the following account, Sort Code 20 49 08; Account Number 40657042, together with your name clearly shown as the reference, or by sending a cheque to Joe Cowen, MFH., payable to Joe Cowen HRD account, c/o Laughton Manor Farm, Laughton Hills, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. LE17 6QA.