H&H has conducted detailed research to find out what hunts are doing in these tough economic times to encourage followers of all ages to keep hunting.

Subs stay at 2010-11 rates
Several hunts have managed to keep subscriptions and caps at 2010-11 rates.

Haydon secretary Gillian Pattinson told H&H: “We were going to put our subs up, but we felt we couldn’t due to the economic climate and the disruption of the past two years because of the snow.”

Subs will be kept the same, subject to them being received before the opening meet. “After that there will be a £50 increase,” she added.

Helpful innovations
Allowing subscribers to pay by direct debit is becoming increasingly popular. The North Herefordshire is offering this for the first time this season.

Joint-master Dawn Waterman told H&H: “Finding big one-off payments is especially hard for young people who have careers and horses.”

At the York and Ainsty North, an innovative new deal is available – monthly subs. Secretary Susan Thornton said the aim was to attract new subscribers.

“You can hunt for just November or November and December,” she explained. “We hope to attract some eventers out hunting after Christmas.”

And the South Dorset is following the supermarkets’ lead with a “buy two [days], get a third free” offer.

Incentive for newcomers
First-time visitors to the Warwickshire will enjoy discounts of up to 50% on their first and second days.

And for those who fancy giving draghunting a go, a first visit to the Staff College and RMA Sandhurst costs just £20. A second is £30, thereafter full cap applies.

To read this story in full, see the current issue of Horse and Hound (3 November, 2011)