Actor Vinnie Jones has entered a greyhound in the UK’s last major hare-coursing event, it was revealed today.
The former footballer has a runner in the controversial 157th Waterloo Cup which takes place next week.
Charles Blanning, secretary of the British National Coursing Club, confirmed that Jones was one of the owners listed for the event along with TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright.
He said: “There are 64 runners in the event and Mr Jones and Ms Dickson-Wright are among the owners.”
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the three-day Waterloo Cup in Altcar, Lancashire, which starts on Tuesday.
Animal rights campaigners, who claim the sport is cruel and should be banned, will be protesting at the event.
Tony Moore, chairman of the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, said: “This arena bloodsport should have been thrown into the dustbin of history years ago.
“Bookmakers are a big part of the scene at the Waterloo Cup. It is obscene to gamble on the life or death struggle of an animal.”
Coursing enthusiasts say the idea of the sport is not to kill the hare but to test the speed and agility of the dogs.
Two dogs are set on a single hare when it is at least 80 yards away and supporters say only one in eight hares are killed.
The Waterloo Cup was established at Altcar in 1836 and is the blue riband event of the British hare-coursing season, which runs from September to March.