What you should know
- If you hack to the hunt, please avoid fields and culverts as you may be fouling a line. Keep to the side of the roads, watch for traffic and yield the right of way.
- Arrive early, and be ready to move out together at the appointed time. Late arrivals who miss the Hunt's mass departure are not allowed to catch up.
- Respect the land and the requests of all landowners. We always ride on the edges of fields (unless otherwise directed by the field master) keeping off crops and new seed.
- Close all gates that you have found originally closed.
- Report any damage to your fieldmaster. If necessary, make temporary repairs.
- Ride SLOWLY past cattle, sheep or pastured horses.
- Do not litter the countryside.
- No smoking is permitted in the hunt field.
Drag hunting is a privilege and most importantly requires our attention to courtesy for landowners. We are able to hunt across private property thanks to the generosity of our landowners. Their fields, fences and livestock must be respected. Individual carelessness can cause land to be closed to the hunt. A cheerful “Good Morning!” or ‘‘Thank You” as you pass across a property is always appropriate. Whenever you get the chance, thank a landowner for letting you and the Hunt ride across their land.
During the Hunt
- The huntsman and the hounds have the right of way of all times. DO NOT RIDE OVER OR INTERFERE WITH THE HOUNDS.
- If the huntsman or the hounds should need to pass you, GET OUT OF THE WAY AND TURN YOUR HORSE’S HEAD TOWARDS THE HOUNDS.
- Whippers-in (hound caretakers) have the right of way at all times. Make way for them and announce "Staff please!" to warn others of their approach.
- At checks, stay away from the huntsman and the hounds. If you would like to approach them, you must get permission from the fieldmaster.
- At the beginning of the hunt, you must decide which field you wish to ride with and you must STAY WITH THAT FIELD UNTIL THE "CHECK" AT THE END OF A LINE. If you wish to change fields, inform your fieldmaster at a check and report to the new fieldmaster that you will be joining their field for the next line.
- STAY UP WITH THE FIELD. Don't lag behind, unless you have a problem and make it known.
- If you must leave before the hunt is over, inform your field master that you wish to "retire." The field master will give you directions and dispatch someone to accompany you. When hacking back to the trailers at the starting site, use the roads wherever possible, not going cross-country.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the horse in front. Do not crowd at jumps; leave space and take your turn.
- If your horse kicks, no matter whose fault it is, you MUST put a red ribbon in their tail and ride at the rear of the field.
- If you hear the words “HOLD HARD”, pull up to a dead stop and do not move, until your fieldmaster informs you that it is safe to do so.
- If a rider falls, generally only two people stay behind to assist the rider and possibly help catch the horse. Please inform the fieldmaster if you need to return home or if there is a serious injury.
The hunt staff and field masters work hard to give the riders good sport, so your expressed thanks are always appreciated!