THE WATERLOO CUP
FAACE was very much involved with the subject of hare coursing, in particular the Waterloo Cup.
Since it's formation FAACE took part and was involved in the organisation of the yearly demonstration against the Waterloo Cup.
The Waterloo Cup was the so-called blue riband event of the coursing calendar.
FAACE organised Press conferences and anti-hare coursing forums involving MPs, MEPs and prominent people from the area such as the actor Ricky Tomlinson.
In 1999 FAACE arranged for the first aerial demonstration against the Waterloo Cup. This was a great moral booster for the antis and a source of much annoyance to the coursers.
In very simple terms hare coursing was the setting of greyhounds onto a hare.
The Waterloo Cup took place at Altcar, near Formby and about seven miles from FAACE headquarters.
Approximately 60 dogs took part in the three day knockout competition.
Points were awarded for the "skill" of the dogs.
Betting on the results of each course was an integral part of this event and the bookmakers were very much involved.
It attracted some of the worst elements of the animal cruelty people, the dog fighters and badger baiters etc. As Sir Mark Prescot, who was one of the organisers and commentators, was quoted as saying of the spectators, they are made up of "10% Nobs and 90% Yobs"
The coursers said that because of their "sport" there were more hares at Altcar. We had evidence both, actual and circumstantial, that hares were imported from other parts of England, to boost the hare population prior to the event.
Hare coursing, this was not done for pest control but only for pleasure.
The Waterloo Cup was one of the last public arena events where money is gambled on an animal's fate.
It would have been better to allow an unnaturally boosted hare population to return to the natural wild population.
The Waterloo Cup was the so-called 'Blue Riband' event of the coursing calendar and yet even here, where coursing was under the public gaze, the cruelty of the event was obvious.
Although we were told that only one in nine hares were killed we know from having observers inside that more than one in four were killed. If only one hare was caught it was one too many.
We were also told that the real reason for coursing was to test the dogs, not to kill the hare, but those of us unfortunate to witness a hare being caught by the dogs at the Waterloo Cup, have heard the blood chilling roar of triumph from the thugs on the bank when this happened.
The hunters say that we 'townies' don't understand about life in the country. Where do they think we came from? Most of us have had some close contact with the country and if you go back only a few generations we are all from the country. Also a very large proportion of country dwellers want hunting with dogs stopped.
The attempt by the Countryside Alliance to create a split between town and country was just a cynical ploy to gain time to continue with their cruel activities.
The Countryside Alliance says that if it were left to us 'townies' the countryside would be ruined. When we consider the state of things for songbirds and our wildlife etc. I think that it is time we took a little more control back from these so-called guardians and reclaimed the countryside.
The Last Waterloo Cup 2005
The last Waterloo Cup hare coursing took place at Altcar near Southport from the 14th to the 16th of February 2005. They had brought it forward to beat the ban on hare coursing which came into effect on the 18th.
The demonstration against this appalling event took place on Valentines Day Monday the 14th. Once again it was organised and led by FAACE.
The demonstration of approximately 250 people walked the nearly 2 miles to "The Withins" with a heavy police escort. We were made up of a cross section of animal rights groups and the general public with some dogs and children amongst our number
This was the last chance for the hare coursers to carry out this revolting act within the law, and they had turned out in force.
We were met by an extremely hostile crowd who saw us as the cause of the ban and a target for their vengeance.
They were very aggressive towards us with shouts and shaking of fists and waving fox's brushes. On our side some of us were shouting back that their time was over.
It was fortunate for us the police were there in force. There was a police helicopter hovering above and mounted police in the fields, as well as the foot police on both sides of us. Even so they had a struggle to hold back the coursers.
Fireworks, bottles, mud and even the body parts of a dead hare, were among the missiles that rained down upon us.
There were a number of attempts to rush the police cordon and six coursers were arrested one for assault and five for minor disturbances.
We left after about an hour with the police trying to hold back the coursers. We had to run the gauntlet of missiles and our banners became our shields.
There were a great many media present and the coursers showed themselves for what they are, callous, uncaring bullies.
We were there to protest about the killing of the hares as we said, "Nothing had changed" they were still killing hares and trying to get the ban overturned. While there was a Waterloo Cup there would be a protest.