What to Expect
Guide to what to expect first time out hunting
HOUND EXERCISE START TIME - 10:30 & 17:30 (Evening times will change as the season progresses)
HOUND EXERCISES - Dress for Hound Exercise. Head wear: see below Tweed jacket (Blue/Black acceptable) Shirt/tie or stock. Neutral toned (cream/beige) breeches and Boots/Gaiters. Body protector at riders discretion. Horse un plaited.
BLOODHOUNDING DRESS - Dress for Hunting. Head wear: see below Blue/Black Jacket (Tweed acceptable) Hunting tie/stock. Neutral toned (cream/beige) breeches and Boots/Gaiters. Body protector at riders discretion. Horses plaited please
HEADGEAR - FOR BOTH THOSE HUNTING WITH THE FARMERS BLOODHOUNDS AND ANY MOUNTED ASSISTANTS WHENEVER RIDING IN THE COURSE OF THEIR DUTIES WITH HOUNDS.
The headgear, which should be worn, is a hunting cap of the established crash helmet variety with fitted safety harness conforming with British Safety Standards or a properly fitted hunting hat with safety harness.
HORSE - Your horse should be smartly turned out, and you are encouraged to plait. If it is the first time out for your horse as well, you should tie a green ribbon to its tail to let everyone else know, and allow them to give you room. If your horse has been known to kick, you must wear a red ribbon which warns everyone else to keep clear.
JUMPING WHEN HUNTING- Bloodhounding is primarily a jumping sport. However we do have a 2nd field master, who will lead those who choose not to jump or want smaller fence options.
HOUND EXERCISE- Jumping on hound exercise is completely optional there will always be alternatives. Hound exercise is really just a hack and is a really good way of getting young horses or nervous riders going before the hunting season.
TEA - After we have finished and the horses have been settled, please join the rest of the field for refreshments. Everyone is welcome. There is a wonderful barbecue served by our catering team. The barbecue is free but we do ask for donations to our chosen charities. A great social end to the day.
QUESTIONS - If you have any questions on the day, you can ask either one of the Masters, in Burgundy coats, or one of the people with white collars, who are experienced members of the hunt and will be very happy to help. The day is usually split into three or four hunts. If your horse is tired or you need to go home, the Masters or Second field Master will be able to direct you back to the meet. CAP - On arrival please make yourself known to Mr Rupert Checkley the Senior Master or the ladies at the entrance gate.
ETIQUETTE - The members of the field will be told who is the Field Master for the day. You must at all times stay behind the Field Master, unless you are asked to go on.
The Hunt Masters wear Burgundy coats. If they are not the Field Master of the day, you can go past them, although it is courteous to give them priority.
The huntsman and the whip have the job of ensuring that we all have a good day's hunting. The whips will often need to come back through the field to gather up stray hounds, or bring them back to the huntsman if they start hunting the wrong scent. Please always give them room to come through and turn your horse's head to face them to ensure that they do not get kicked. They should call to let you know whether they are coming through on your left or right.
You must not jump any fences unless you are hunting, in other words, unless in pursuit of the hounds. If you have a stop at a fence, get out of the way and allow others to come through. If your horse stops again, please look for a gate or another way through. If you get stuck, the Second Field Master will normally be their to escort you to the end of the line.
Please pass messages back through the field. These will normally be to shut a gate, stay on a headland (the edge) of a cornfield or beware of holes or wire on the left or right. If you are told to stay on a headland you MUST stick to the very edge of the field and avoid damaging the growing crops or making a mess of wet grassland. If you hear the shout "Hold Hard", you must pull your horse up as quickly as you can.
SAFETY - You should always keep your horses head facing the hounds. It allows the horse to see the hounds, and lessens the likelihood of your horse kicking one. A horse can kill a hound with a kick. Allow the person jumping in front of you time to clear the fence to ensure that you do not land on them if they should fall. This is especially advisable over the larger hedges.
Always give way to the Hounds, let them through if they are caught behind the field (and tell people ahead of you if a hound is trying to get past them ("Hound on your right/left").
If you see wire or holes or anything else which could be dangerous to the field coming on behind you, pass a message back through the field (usually "Ware holes/wire on the right/left").
Please click to see the safety guidelines
FOOT FOLLOWERS - Please be careful if following on foot not to walk over to the jumps for a better view, as you may cross the quarry's line and throw the hounds off the scent.