This comment was so good, I thought it should get it’s own post!

This was a comment on the “Which Discipline of Horsemanship is Superior?” article. I thought it was a very interesting bit of horse poetry relating to ‘pig-sticking’  or ‘boar hunting’ (see: “Which Discipline of Horsemanship is Superior?”).

For the full context of this poem, there’s an interesting article that appears in a “The English Illustrated Magazine”, Volume 22, October 1899 – March 1900, page 87; (London, Ingram Brothers, 1900) titled “Pig Sticking in India” by Major Dalbiac.

It’s an interesting read on an interesting sport in which the prey is quite capable of fighting back (and will do so if ever given the opportunity).

Roger Haningtonsays:
January 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

While pig can be found on the Kadir,


"Pioneer" (Source: Facing page 48; "Modern Pig Sticking" by Major A. E. Wardrop, McMillan and Co., Limited, St. Martin's Street, London, 1914.)

And foxes in Stapleton Gorse,
While sportsmen collect around a fireside,
And men love the hound and the horse;
There’s an argument ever confronting
All those that ride hard and ride fast;
Is Pigsticking better than Hunting?
Like Time, to the end it will last!

A few dozen pig I have ridden,
And I’ve hunted right up from my birth,
So I’ll give you my faithful opinion,
(for what you may think that is worth!)
I wouldn’t for worlds be dogmatic;
I’ll just show the light and the shade,
In a case that can never be static;
For that’s how opinions are made.

Just take a nice day about Christmas,
The jungle is scented and sweet,
The air though not cold has a crispness
That bites as I hack to the meet.
In the first hour I’ve seen six good sounders,
And ‘nailed’ three boars – fighters big:
As I note two are three hundred pounders,
I go nap on hunting the pig.

But when it’s the end of the season,
With flies and mosquitoes galore;
And a heat that takes toll of your reason,
While every scratch turns to a sore,
When I’ve hunted for hours with no fortune,
But crocked my best horse in a well,
As I hack back to camp o’er the sand dunes;
I’m for hunting – and Pig-sticking’s ‘Hell’.

Its the same when I’m back in old England,
When there’re snow patches left by the thaw;
And the scent is breast-high on the grassland,
Then we ‘find’ the first covert we draw.
As my horse changes feet on a ‘double’
Then flies ‘cross a brook – deep and big –
As we lead the ‘First Flight’ o’er the stubble,
‘No! – I wouldn’t chuck Foxes for Pig!’

But soaked to the skin after hunting
From eleven to four in the rain;
The weather by no means abating,
And my horse lame in front with a sprain.
By his side ‘long the slippery tarmac
Then a car knocks me down in the lane,
And I swear that if I ever get back,
‘Twill be ‘Hunting? No, NEVER again!’

So, you see that is how I regard it,
A good day at either is Best.
And if some misfortune should mar it,
Then you feel you should give it a rest.
But you can’t find the wild boar in Britain,
And so we will just let it stand,
That with each in its turn you are bitten,
For each is the best in ITS LAND!

So, if fate gives you leisure and horses,
A country and good hunting-box,
You’ll never make up for your losses
If you arn’t out and hunting the Fox.
But then should your fortune so deem it,
That Eastwards you go for a tour;
Take a tip from a fellow whose seen it,
Get a horse and get after the Boar.

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