The Ottawa Valley Hunt (OVH) has different dress codes, depending on the season and occasion.
Safety is always of utmost importance -- helmets are required and safety vests permitted.
Summer cross-country, trail rides and OVH public events
On these occasions, no formal or informal jackets are required and breeches can be any colour. You may use any colour or shape of saddle pad.
Hunting is an English riding discipline. When you cap (ride as a guest) or are a new member of the OVH, the dress code expectations are relaxed, so you aren't obliged to invest in hunt attire immediately. Wear your beige, tan or buff breeches; tall boots (or short boots with half chaps); a white shirt; a dark grey, navy or black jacket; and black or brown gloves. A white stock tie with a stock pin is the most correct, or you may wear the choker that comes with the standard English show shirt. A safety helmet with chin strap is mandatory.
This ensemble is considered 'formal' attire and is always correct. Formal attire is worn on Saturdays, from the Fall Opening Hunt in September until the end of the season in late November.
On Wednesdays, however, you may instead wear an light woven or tweed jacket in earth tones; a coloured shirt; a coloured stock tie or regular tie; light or brown colored gloves; and always, your safety helmet. This attire is termed “ratcatcher”.
String gloves are also traditional and will give you better grip on rainy days. For cappers who do not have all the classic attire, we simply asks that you dress as closely as you can to the preferred dress code, and that will be fine. A guideline for you and your horse is to be “clean, neat, tidy and comfortable”.
If possible, use a white, shaped saddle pad for both formal and ratcatcher hunts.
When you have been a hunt member for some time and have contributed to the club by volunteering and in other ways, the Masters may award you your colours. This entitles you to wear the OVH green colour on your formal jacket and the OVH buttons. The dress code for men and ladies with colours is outlined below.
MEN WITH COLOURS
Note: White stocks and white breeches are correct with scarlet coats but should not be worn with black or tweed riding jackets.
WOMEN WITH COLOURS
Here are some ideas:
- Post an ad in the local Facebook tack groups
- Post an ad in the Fox Hunting in Eastern Ontario Facebook group
- Check thrift stores like Value Village
- Check Kijiji and eBay
- The OVH has some jackets and vests that were donated by members who no longer ride. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Watch the following video on how to tie a stock tie.