Horse trainer faces hare coursing case

ONE of the country's most successful racehorse trainers, who is alleged to have attended a hare coursing event, has had his case adjourned by Scarborough magistrates.

Miles Henry Easterby, known as Peter, is charged along with four other people of offences contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

Easterby, 78, from Habton Grange Farm, Great Habton, near Malton, is also charged with allowing his land to be used for hare coursing.

The case is seen as a legal landmark as it is the first time anyone has appeared in court charged with hare coursing since the new law came into force in 2005.

Charged alongside Easterby were:

l John Shaw, 54, of Welburn Manor, Welburn, near Kirkbymoorside – permitting land to be used for the purpose of a hare coursing event and attending a hare coursing event

l Andrew Lund-Watkinson, 56, of Pine View Lodge, Newton-on-Rawcliffe, near Pickering – knowingly facilitating a hare coursing event and attending a hare coursing event

l Elizabeth Margaret Gibson, 44, of Appleton-Le-Street, Malton – knowingly facilitating a hare coursing event

l Jacqueline Ann Teal, 42, of Scarborough Road, Norton – charged with attending a hare coursing event.

Easterby was one of the country’s most successful flat and National Hunt trainers until his retirement in 1996. He won the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle five times and the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice, as well as being named Champion National Hunt trainer three times from 1979 to 1981.

Hare coursing involves using greyhounds or lurchers to chase a hare across a field. Under the act, a person found guilty of hare coursing could face a fine of up to 5,000.

The case was adjourned until November 19.