Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Countryside Alliance Director for Wales, Rachel Evans, writes: It is with a heavy heart that I write this in memory of Roy Savage, huntsman for 34 years at the Teme Valley. I first met Roy many years ago at the Countryside Alliance stand at the Royal Welsh Show. He was there supporting the Alliance with hounds in the pen, encouraging all who went within a whisker of the stand to sign a petition to save hunting from Blair’s reign.  Since I began working for the Alliance, Roy’s support continued by bringing hounds to the pen – a task that doesn’t come without work and worry. I will always remember his genuine kindness, no fuss approach and the question he asked me many times throughout the day at the show – “are you alright kid?” I am truly privileged to have met one of hunting’s finest and my heartfelt sympathy goes to his family.  Here, David Thomas and Family of the Heart of Wales Riding School, pay a very fitting tribute;
Roy Savage was born in Worcestershire in 1948, his father being a farmer and long time supporter of the Worcestershire Hunt. Roy naturally needed no encouragement to become a follower of the hunt and for a short time one of its terrier men. Roy then moved to the Pembrokeshire Hunt as a whipper-in. He left the Pembrokeshire in 1977 and became the Huntsman of the Teme Valley up until his death last week.
During his 34 years as Huntsman he evolved the Teme Valley Hounds into one of the best packs in the UK. Breeding a superb line of Welsh hunting hounds, winning many prizes at shows and many Welsh Hound Classes at the Builth Hound Show, including the Welsh Hound Association Championship on at least four occasions. Roy introduced fell hounds into the Teme Valley Kennels and had equal success at shows with the fells as well.
One thing is certain, however many champions Roy had in his kennels they were not offered any privileges, they had to hold their own in the hunting field if he was going to breed from them. Their first job was hunting, what they were bred to do, and they had to be good at that before Roy would even consider breeding from them – and they did that very well indeed. There was always a warm welcome at the kennels where he would show you all his hounds, not just the champions. He had immense pride in them all.
Many keen hound followers came to see his hounds work. Roy’s Welsh and Fell hound lines are found extensively in hunt kennels up and down the Country.
During the hunting week at Builth, Thursday was “Roy’s” day and the hill at Hundred House was always packed with followers from all over the country, the evening in the Barley Mow second to none.
Roy worked tirelessly to preserve hunting against it’s attacks by the Blair Government, one of the original “yellowshirts” marching from Machynlleth to the Hyde Park rally in 1997 and again from Machynlleth to Cardiff in 1999. Not to mention numerous other Countryside Alliance events over the years.
The Countryside Alliance and the Heart of Wales Riding Centre offer our condolences to his Mother and Father, his wife Lynda, daughter Sarah and sons Ian, David and Robby.

The funeral is at Knighton Church on Saturday 21st May at 11am.