Etiquette out hunting
The Thurlow Hunt’s primary request is that followers, both mounted and on foot, show politeness and courtesy to all parties involved. To this end, we ask you to familiarise yourself with these basic do’s and don’ts to help ensure everyone involved enjoys the day.
- It is customary to say Good Morning to the Master on arriving at the meet
- Find the Secretary to give your cap to. Don’t leave the Secretary to find you!
- Thank your Host/Hostess for their hospitality at a lawn meet.
- Always turn your horse’s head towards the hounds and avoid getting amongst them. Don’t assume that your horse will not be overwhelmed by a pack of hounds just because it’s ok with the family dog. Kicking a hound is not tolerated and you will probably find your self being sent home!
- Make sure you know who the Field Master is on the day and always remain behind him or her.
- Be aware of the Hunt Staff and Terrier Man trying to pass and make room for them immediately.
- Thank anyone who opens a gate for you, helps you cross a road by holding up the traffic or drivers that have slowed down or stopped for your convenience and safety.
- When crossing ditches take a moment to check the rider behind you has safely crossed before moving on.
- Do not crowd at obstacles and politely wait your turn.
- If your horse refuses at a fence, make way for someone else to have their turn.
- If you damage a fence, please tell the Field Master or Terrier Man.
- At the Children’s meet, children have priority and should be allowed to go before the adults.
- If your horse kicks you should wear a red ribbon on it’s tail. However this does not relieve you of the responsibility of keeping out of the way of other hunt followers to ensure that accidents do not happen.
- If you are riding a young or inexperienced horse then wear a green ribbon on their tail. It is also advisable to stay near the back of the field.
- Say ‘Good Night’ and Thank You to the Field Master when leaving the hunt.
What should you wear out hunting?
While traditional attire is preferred, it is more important that you are safe and look tidy and smart at all times in order to show respect to the farmers and landowners who give our hunt such a warm welcome onto their land.
A hard hat or safety hat (preferably with a plain dark silk such as black/navy) is obligatory.
During Autumn hunting a ‘ratcatcher’ or tweed jacket should be worn with a shirt and tie or coloured/patterned stock, secured with a plain pin along with plain fawn jodhpurs or breeches. Horses should be well turned out and clean but are not required to be plaited.
From the opening meet onwards, subscribers usually wear black or blue hunting coats with a white/cream stock and horses should be plaited. If you do not possess a black or blue coat then it is acceptable to wear a tweed jacket instead. Grooms and children (under 18 years of age) should wear a tweed jacket. A pair of gloves is advisable. Spurs are optional as are back protectors although we recommend they are worn by children.
Subscribers who have proved themselves to be sufficiently knowledgeable and able members of the ‘Field’ are awarded their Hunt Button at the discretion of the Masters. Buttons are available from the Estate Office in Thurlow or Goldings in Newmarket.