Masters of the sporting trinity
We talk glibly about the huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ man, but does he really exist any more? Adrian Dangar tracks down exponents of all three arts
wo out of three ain’t bad. Many sportsmen and women were brought up to hunt, shoot or fish and others discover these passions in later life, but few retain the wherewithal, time, fitness and enthusiasm to do all three like the wealthy sporting landowners and dashing young blades of preFirst world war times.
These were the sports of kings, especially after the Victorian invention of the Scottish sporting holiday, which made fishing smart. Mastering all three was something to aspire to, as with the bogus ‘thunder-andlightning’ trousered gentleman who impressed R. S. Surtees’s gullible creation Mr Jorrocks in a Cheltenham inn, and it still is.
However, practicalities such as work, city life, lack of land, not having been brought up around horses and having a family that doesn’t want to spend holidays crawling through bogs or being bitten by midges on the riverbank tend to get in the way nowadays.
Andrew Hudson is one of the lucky ones. Brought up fishing on the Spey and hunting with the Bramham Moor, he is now chairman of the Bedale in North Yorkshire and took over a grouse moor from an uncle in 1985. ‘It’s all been tremendous fun,’ he says.