29 DECEMBER 2019
The Prince of Wales’s former hunt has apologised to mourners after its hounds interrupted a woodland funeral and reportedly leapt over an open grave.
Mourners watched in horror as a fox chased by dogs from the Quorn Hunt bolted into proceedings at the Prestwold Natural Burial Ground, near Loughborough.
The hunt said the incident happened after some hounds “drifted off the scent” and that representatives were contacting the family, who have asked to remain anonymous.
The Prince was a regular attendee of the hunt, which was founded in 1696, before the 2004 hunting ban.
One mourner said she was “mortified” as trumpets, shouting and then the sound of galloping horses interrupted the solemn moments by the open plot on Monday, December 16.
In a Facebook post, she said: “I attended the burial of a client of mine we looked after for two-and-a-half years. His wishes were to have a natural burial at Prestwold Burial Ground.
“We had a short service at the graveside and then left. We all stood talking with the minister and we all heard galloping of horses, trumpet blowing and shouting.
“The next minute we watched as a hunt unfolded before our eyes. We were all mortified to watch.”
The anonymous mourner claims that she then saw the pack of hounds chasing a live fox and jump over the open grave.
“This was absolutely horrifying for us all,” she said. “Not to mention that burying a friend or relative isn’t hard enough, to have to witness that was horrific.”
The Natural Burial Company, which manages the woodland site that aims to minimise the ecological impact of internments, said a member of staff then “did everything he could” to remove the hounds from the area.
A Quorn Hunt spokesman said: “We wish to express our sincerest condolences and apologies to all those affected by this regrettable incident, whilst reassuring everyone that steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.
“A hunt official has spoken to the funeral directors in order that an apology can be made directly to the family in the appropriate manner and time.”