BEFORE THE MEET
Please be prompt. Arriving late and trying to catch up with the field often results in riding through coverts which are to be hunted. Do not ride through coverts if hacking to meet.
The fixture card will be followed as much as possible and e-mails and Facebook posts will notify of any changes to the schedule or meet location.
Guests - Contact the Honorary Secretary for permission to bring a guest. It is your responsibility to have them pay the cap AND sign a release BEFORE we move off. Introduce your guest to the Masters and Field Master. Guests are permitted to hunt on a capping fee basis only 3 times per season. On an average day weekday we don’t have a second field. If however you bring guests and they do not jump, we must know this in advance.
Be mounted on a horse you know you can control. Do not crowd the horse in front of you. You are asking to be kicked and you run the risk of clipping the heels of the horse in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to be sure you can see the hind feet of the horse in front of you at all times.
If you have a horse that has a tendency to kick, it should be wearing a red ribbon and ridden in the back of the field. The red ribbon will alert others to the possibility of a problem but does not absolve you of the consequences of your horse kicking. If your horse definitely kicks at other horses or hounds, don’t bring the horse back. A green ribbon should be used on a green horse to alert others for obvious reasons.
Do not separate yourself from the field. Please keep up with either the main field or a second field if one is provided for that day’s hunting. If you leave early, please notify the Field Master prior to leaving. They will direct you home so as to not interfere with hounds or unknowingly ride on land that is not open to the hunt to ride upon.
Masters and Senior Members with colors are customarily entitled to ride in the front of the field behind the Field Master. This is considered a privilege and all others should ride behind them unless directed or offered to do otherwise.
If staff or hounds are passing you, please face your horse towards them so your horse can see them coming and there is no chance of kicking them. Hounds always have the right of way.
Keep a safe distance especially when approaching a jump. The horse and rider in front of you should clear the fence before your take off. If your horse refuses a fence, get well out of the way and let everyone else jump before trying again. Do not cut back in line to jump it again. A horse refusing more than once should be hunted in the back of the field until the problem is solved. If you do not wish to jump, stay behind those that do. Going around a jump in front of someone who wishes to jump is dangerous.
When hounds are working, please keep ‘noise’ in the field to a minimum. Loud noise is distracting to staff as well as hounds. Do not speak to the hounds. This should be reserved for staff only.
If you view a hole/wire or some other object that others behind you should know about, signal ‘ware hole’(as in Beware), turn your head and speak so that the person directly behind you can hear. They in turn must quickly pass on the warning, especially to the person behind them. The warning should be relayed till it reaches the back of the field. If at all possible, point in the direction of the problem area.
If a gate has been opened at the front of the field and must be re-closed, the signal of “Gate Please”, means that the last rider through MUST close it.
Please let the Field Master know if any fences or property are damaged.
Should hounds, huntsman, or staff need to pass you and the field, the correct signal is “Hounds Please”, “Huntsman Please”, “Staff Please”, not ware hound or ware huntsman or ware staff. It is also considerate to indicate if staff will be approaching the rider from the left or the right. Example -“Huntsman left please”.
When viewing a fox, DO NOT scream “Tally Ho”. This will often result in a fox stopping dead in his tracks, turning and often going immediately to ground, or worse, running head-long into the approaching pack of hounds. The closer the fox is – the quieter you should be. Notify the Field Master as quickly and quietly as possible if you view a fox, provided that hounds are not already on the hunted fox. If you cannot get to the Field Master and hounds have checked, then stand near the line with your horse facing the direction the fox has taken, hold up your hand (whip, hat) in the air pointing towards it and shout “Tally Ho” or give a holloa once the fox has disappeared from view. Be sure you can describe to the huntsman exactly where the fox was last seen.
Do NOT cut corners over crops or planted fields. Learn what crops grow in the country and how to identify them. It will add to your knowledge and enjoyment of our beautiful countryside. Ride around all planted fields. Crops are a livelihood for farmers. If we damage them we might not be invited back.
Do not clean out trailers onto lawns, driveways, or the road.
Please make all guests feel welcome. Introduce yourself and, as a courtesy, ask them if they wish to ride in front of you. Assist them if they are having any difficulties.
The rules of etiquette associated with foxhunting can seem a bit overwhelming but they are for safety reasons, courtesy to others, and to preserve wonderful historic hunting traditions. We hope this answers any question you may have. Above all, have fun!