Whilst we pride ourselves on being a friendly hunt and open to all, it is nevertheless important that we maintain standards of behaviour and dress both as a matter of pride and to show respect to the farmers and landowners on who’s land we are fortunate enough to cross during our days hunting. Dress and turnout For Children - wear white or cream jodhpurs, shirt, tie (Pony Club tie if you are a member) and rat catcher jacket with either brown or black jodhpur boots and chaps. See below
For newcomer adults – it is advisable to wear white, cream or beige breeches or jodhpurs with either shirt and tie or stock, rat catcher jacket and black boots. Alternatively you can wear a black jacket.
The masters of the hunt from time to time award subscribers with
their hunt buttons and collar, usually in recognition of long term
support for the hunt and the willingness to help out on both hunting
days and at functions. For women, this means that they can wear the
hunt buttons and also wear the white collar which is part of the
Woodland Pytchley livery.
For men this means that they can wear hunt buttons with their black jacket, or traditionally were entitled to wear scarlet coats with the white collar. In recent years the hunt elected to restrict the wearing of scarlet coats, and have instead also given the option of wearing a tweed coat, with collar and brass buttons. On most days hunting, the only people to be seen wearing the scarlet coats are the hunt staff and the field master for the day. On certain special occasions such as boxing day, paid up subscribers entitled to wear scarlet may do so.
Unless the weather is particularly wet, we would ask that you avoid wearing Rain Macs or wax jackets. If Rain Macs are to be worn, they should be either dark green, dark blue or brown. Bright colours should be avoided.
Turnout of your horse As well as you turning up clean and smartly dressed, it is also important that your horse should look smart and as clean as possible. In the main hunting season from November to April, your horse should ideally be plaited if you are wearing a black coat and should definitely be plaited if you are wearing a scarlet coat. It is not vital to plait your horse or pony if you are wearing a ratcatcher jacket but it always makes the horse look smarter.
Things To Remember
There are a great number of unwritten rules to remember on a days hunting, and I shan’t list them all but here are the most important ones.
- Ask permission of the farmer or one of the masters/hunt secretary before parking in a farm yard.
- If parking on a grass verge, make sure the vehicle is not obstructing through traffic, or blocking a gateway likely to be used. Please also park outside the village perimeter wherever possible. It is advisable to park a little distance from the meet to allow your horse the time to get settled and loosen up.
- On arriving at the meet, introduce yourself to the masters, field master and huntsman.
- Once the hunt has left the meet, stay with the field and keep behind the field master.
- If you are on a young horse or one that kicks, please put a green or red ribbon on respectively and stay at the back where possible, and turn the horses heads to the hounds when they are passing.
- Always wait for the person behind to get through a gate or over a ditch before galloping off.
- Make sure gates are shut if you are the last through. If in doubt, always shut it anyway.
- Warn others of holes or wire as you pass by.
- When hounds are drawing, keep your voices down so that they don’t get distracted or can’t hear the huntsman.
- Keep in to the sides and in single file when crossing an arable field.
- Don’t gallop across a grass field for the sake of it, especially when the ground is wet.
- Let cars through when on roads.
- Alert the field master or secretary of any broken fences. Always bring some string and a penknife in case you need to undertake emergency repairs to a fence to make it stock proof, or to tie a gate shut.
- Don’t shout or crack your whip at the hounds unless asked to by the master or huntsman.
Foot followers should make sure that they are not blocking the roads to through traffic whilst following the hunt, and should not park on mown verges within villages.
The most important thing to remember is that we are all out to have fun, but do so at the generosity of the farmers and landowners who’s land we cross. It should not be forgotten that they are farming their land as their living and nothing should be done on a days hunting to put this in jeopardy.