Cutting corners – Cruel sport

‘Cutting corners’ is a term used to refer to doing something in the easiest, cheapest or quickest way, often by ignoring rules or leaving something out

Cutting corners can be traced back to hunting in the 1850’s; the earliest known reference is from 1852 in Knightley William Horlock’s ‘Letters on the Management of Hounds’:
“About a hundred and fifty horsemen were at once scattered over the downs, riding at the top of their speed, in almost all directions; some following the hounds, but a greater number, not liking the undulating nature of the ground, cutting corners, and hustling each other by cross riding.”

Neither hound nor the hunters were supposed to cut corners as the idea was (and unfortunately, is) to tire the pray out before killing it, rather than to catch it as it ran.

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