The South Downs Bloodhounds (SDB) are a Hampshire based pack that hunt the ‘clean boot’ – human runner who doesn’t drag any form of scent enhancement. It’s a very politically correct form of hunting; quarry are volunteers doing it for fun – it is definitely not a blood sport; our Bloodhounds would lick the quarry to death! Nor are we elitist, but a broad church; quirky, fun, welcoming, different, youth-friendly, and a ‘challenger’ organisation rather than ‘old traditional’.
Equine herpes virus, the wet winter, and Coronavirus has reduced income to the hunt by approx. £10K to where we would expect to be. Planned fundraising activity that would then generate several thousand this summer is at best postponed. Normally we’d have a positive bank balance (we don’t), allowing us to start summer projects. Fundraising income keeps hounds and horses fed and vetted; we have 44 hounds and two litters expected this summer
At Kennels we have one member of staff full-time (living on-site), all other work is done with volunteers.
Unlike ‘normal’ business ventures facing the economic challenge of Coronavirus, the SDB will not attract Government funding/emergency measures.
The future of the hunt is not secure. We are reaching out as we have no alternative to raise funds to get us through this summer, look after our hounds, and survive.