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Remembering Sally Merison

Sally Merison, a true country sportswoman who was passionate about coursing, fishing and horse racing, sadly passed away last week.

A former board member, Sally was a staunch supporter of the Alliance where her contributions, both to the main board and The Countryside Alliance Foundation, were highly valued. Sally was also a well-respected judge for the Alliance's Rural Awards, along with her great friend, the late Clarissa Dickson-Wright.

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, remembers Sally with fondness: "Sally was an incredible supporter of all country sports, especially her first love, coursing, and of the Countryside Alliance. Like all great leaders, Sally did not just preach, but practiced as well. She chaired the National Coursing Club and served on the Countryside Alliance board, ran an exemplary fishery on the Dever and a wonderful small shoot. She will be hugely missed across the sporting world."

Sally was a great ambassador for coursing and she continued to campaign for it to be legalised following the implementation of the Hunting Act in February 2005 which saw the activity banned. She has maintained links for British coursing with Ireland ever since.

It was whilst chairman of the National Coursing Club that Sally attended a round-the-clock vigil outside the Houses of Parliament. The vigil preceded the Liberty & Livelihood March in 2002.

At the time, Sally said: "The aim of the vigil and the petition is to get our message across to politicians that a ban on hunting and coursing will have a negative impact upon animal welfare and will also hurt ordinary rural people." She has continued to express these views passionately ever since.

Sally is pictured above (far right) at the Women's Vigil in Parliament Square in 2002.

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