To celebrate this week’s hunting special of Horse & Hound magazine (26 October 2017), take a look at our A-Z of hunting, from newcomers and Ireland to unseated riders and X-rays
A — Autumn hunting
One of the favourite times of the year for those who don’t mind early starts, autumn hunting is a vital time in particular for educating the young hounds in their first season.
B — Buttons
Every hunt has their own unique hunt button that is worn by hunt staff, hunt officials and those granted permission to wear the hunt button.
C — Couples
Hounds are always counted in couples and when there are an odd number of hounds out, the odd one will be referred to as a “half”. For example, 35 hounds would be 17½ couple.
D — Drawing
This is what hounds do when they are working a covert searching for their trail.
E — Etiquette
Manners are essential on the hunting field and most hunts have a code of conduct that supporters are expected to follow.
F — Farmers
Without the generosity of farmers and landowners, there would be nowhere to hunt.
G — Gone Away
The horn call blown by a huntsman to signal that hounds have left the covert and are hunting their trail.
H — Hunting Act 2004
The law came into force on 18 February 2005.
I — Ireland
Where traditional foxhunting is still legal and a large number of hunters are sourced from.
J — Jumping
Not the be all and end all for some, but the highlight of a hunting day for many.
K — Keepers
With an ever-increasing number of shoots taking place across the country, liaising with shoot keepers is vital in ensuring the country is accessible.
L — Laughter
Hunting may be taken very seriously at times but it is important to remember that it is supposed to be fun.
M — Master of Foxhounds
The person responsible for hunting and the organisation of the country, quite often also the field master on a hunting day whose instructions must be obeyed.
N — Newcomers
Welcomed at any time of the year, a ‘Newcomers’ Week’ is held by most hunts during October.
O — Opening meets
These take place around the beginning of November and signal the end of Autumn hunting and the start of the main season.
P — Peterborough
Home of the Royal Foxhound Show and the Festival of Hunting which takes place in mid-July each year, this is one of the highlights of the summer hunting calendar.
Q — Quarry
Before the Hunting Act 2004 came into force, the quarry was the hunted animal such as fox, hare or deer, depending on the type of hounds. However today the quarry is a trail-hunt laid using artificial scent and often laid using a quadbike or from a horse.
R — Ratcatcher
Hunting attire worn during autumn hunting and by some packs throughout the season, consisting of a tweed hacking jacket.
S — Secretary
Often the first point of contact for those wanting to visit a hunt and the person to whom your daily cap or subscription should be paid to.
T — Trail hunting
With traditional foxhunting banned under the Hunting Act 2004, legal trail hunting following a laid scent is the way in which hunts now operate.
U — Unseated rider
Empty saddles are not an uncommon sight on the hunting field and membership of the hunt’s own Tumblers Club becomes compulsory.
V — Visiting
If you want to experience hunting with a different pack, visiting is great fun and well worth making the effort.
W — Whipper-in
Seen assisting the huntsman with the hounds, whippers-in can be fully professional full-time members of staff who also work in kennels or an amateur who volunteers.
X — X-rays
Incidents leading to these should be avoided at all times if possible because they are known to curtail your hunting activities…
Y — Young
Children and younger members of the field are the future of hunting and can often be a great source of giving a lead over hunt jumps.
Z — Zetland
A pack in North Yorkshire, this is the last hunt named in the Masters of Foxhounds directory. An alternative is zillions… the amount of money spent on hunting that is never dared to be mentioned when discussing the financial implications of going hunting!
Don’t miss this week’s hunting special of Horse & Hound magazine (26 October 2017), with our hunt directory and a quiz to find out how hard-core you are on the hunting field