byNina Fedrizzi| Jun 14, 2017
Equestrian sport has it’s fair share of thrills, whether wheeling around a rollback turn in the jump-off or charging into the water on cross-country. But one, lesser-known discipline may have the excitement quotient on lockdown, especially when it comes to the rush you get while following a pack of hounds across the open country, leaping tall hedges and dodging low-hanging trees along the way.
But for all that Downton Abbey has done to renew interest in the sport of fox hunting, there are still plenty of misconceptions about its rules, traditions, and stereotypes. To set us straight, we caught up with Chloe Page from the Bedale hunting pack in North Yorkshire to learn her 10 fox hunting truths.
1. Anyone is welcome.
The misconception we are all ‘toffs’ isn’t true!
2. In 2004, the Hunting Act came into effect.
It did not, however, outlaw the ever growing number of people who support and subscribe every year.
3. Drinking is MANDATORY!
I never actually carry a hip flask, but I am notoriously famous for being able to hear one been opened from the other side of the field!
4. You are likely to have two horses.
Especially if you hunt right to the bitter end of the day. ‘Second horse’ usually happens around 1:30 p.m. Many southern packs have a very social and sensible pre-organized [horse] change location. The Bedale (my local hunt), however, does not…. it’s usually nothing short of a Formula 1-style pit stop with A LOT of colorful language.
5. You have to stay on your toes.
Be aware of your own and your horse’s capabilities and learn who’s who fast. It can mean the difference between a reliable lead or a trip to the Accident & Emergency (A and E) department!
6. Respect your Masters of the day.
To create that five hours of glorious hedge hopping, galavanting and hound work, it most likely took said Master a week of his free time, juggled around a day job to sort out.
7. You must look the part.
Image is everything! (And strictly NO bling.)
8. Avoid the Tumbler’s Cup.
That’s one trophy you don’t want to win.
9. It’s a GREAT dating scene.
I met my husband out hunting as have many others. However, I didn’t initially fancy him, as his outfit was terrible (refer to point 7)!
10. Honor your local farmers and landowners.
They are the core players of the whole sport. Without their support and generosity, a day’s hunting simply wouldn’t happen.
-All photos courtesy of Chloe Page.
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