On The Day
Before the Meet
Check the meet card for where and when the hunt is meeting.
If you are not a subscriber, please ring the secretary and ask if you may join the hunt for the day. Newcomers should check that the meet is suitable for them and they will advise you where to park.
Aim to arrive at least ten minutes before the time of the meet and be mounted at the meet by the time stated on the meet card.
Park sensibly in the designated area ensuring you aren't blocking a lane or driveway or anything that may cause congestion or inconvenience to other road users.
On arrival at the meet introduce yourself to the Master(s). ( The correct salutation is " Good morning Master".) Seek out the person responsible for collecting caps, usually the Secretary. Please do not leave it to them to seek you out.
Hunting is a sport to enjoy. The more people you talk to at the meet, the happier the atmosphere that is created and the quicker you will make friends.
Make sure to face your horse to the hounds should you be in close proximity of them. Do not allow your horse to tread upon or kick a hound. A horse will by instinct kick out at something that comes up unexpectedly from behind. This rule applies throughout the hunt.
Before moving off, the Master will address the field, thank the hosts and give out the arrangements for the day. At the meet it is announced who will be “Field Master” for the day, if it is not the speaker. Then the Huntsman blows his horn to gather hounds and they set off to begin the day. Do remember to keep your horse facing the hounds at the meet, as well as when moving off.
During the Hunt
No one should bring out hunting a horse which habitually kicks, but if a horse has been known to kick out if other horses come too close behind it, a red ribbon should be worn at the top of it's tail.
If hounds come towards you, face your horse to them.
Ensure you stay behind the Field Master, but please try to keep up with the field, should you get left behind you my not find the field again! Try not to get in the way of the huntsman or whippers in.
Pass on any messages when they come, loud and clear – such as “gate-please” or “keep in please” for example.
Shutting Gates - It is the duty of all hunt followers to ensure that all gates that have been opened are closed. Please thank any person who opens the gate and do not ride off and leave a mounted follower to try and shut a gate on their own.
Generally practice good manners – they go a long way and cost nothing. Make sure you thank everyone that does something to make your day more enjoyable such as opening a gate.
When jumping, wait your turn. If your horse refuses then let the others go first before trying again. If it stops three times, don’t carry on trying, you will just make a mess and risk injury. There will usually be some one on hand to assist or advise you.
If you should damage a fence, gate or any other of the landowners property, ensure you leave it stock proof and report it to the master or secretary as soon as practicable. If you forget or can’t find someone, it could result in livestock getting out on to the road, so a phone-call to one of the hunt officials to inform them will be gratefully received.
At the end of the day (or when you decide to finish), be sure to thank the Masters and say “Goodnight”. not only is it good manners, you wouldn't want to be responsible for someone searching for you after you have gone.
Things to AVOID
Upsetting farmers and landowners – be most courteous to them and remember that they enable our sport to take place and so treat them with utmost respect. You probably won’t know these people, so it is good policy to greet and thank everyone you meet as you cross land. They do in fact get very upset if they are ignored.
Do not take the direct route straight across a field unless following the Field Master. This may damage to the field or cause distress to livestock. Always ride around the perimeter.
Cutting though fields to get home or back to the lorry without prior permission. Even if you crossed the land when you were with ‘The Field’, the landowner gave permission for the hunt to cross, not individual followers on their way home. Also bear in mind that the land owner may have given time constraints to the hunt officials after which the hunt is not allowed. Once you have left ‘The Field’, stick to public rights of way.