A GENERAL GUIDE to HUNTING with
The Cranwell Bloodhounds [CBH] welcome everyone and we have no annual subscription. We usually ride between September and April on a Sunday afternoon.
If you are new to the sport, and wish to join us for your first experience of hunting with bloodhounds, it is advisable to attend our early season “ride with hounds” or a Hound Exercise day before committing to a full Hunting day. Every horse reacts differently to the hunting environment, the sound of a pack of hounds, waiting to chase the Quarry, can prove extremely exciting to some horses and ponies!
Whilst turnout and etiquette is important, to ensure hunting “The Clean Boot” has a good public image, our main aim is for everyone to enjoy themselves. We hope that people who come to hunt with us will find us friendly and helpful.
How do I find out about your events?
The best way to stay informed about our Events is to become a friend of Cranwell Bloodhounds on Facebook where Frank Goddard, Kennel Huntsman, will post weekly on outings planned. You can also contact the Honorary Secretary at the HonSec facebook page or email [email protected]
What should I wear?
The main rule is, have a clean horse, clean tack and be neat and tidy.
Ride with Hounds – steady days mainly walk and trot.
Dress code - These are always smart casual dress, for example, usual hacking clothes, dark jodhpurs, polo shirt or similar, coat or Gilet, depending on the weather.
Hound Exercise - The pace of these meets will change depending on the weather conditions.
Dress code - Once official Hound Exercise starts (this will be noted on each Event advert) the dress code may change to Ratcatcher, in layman's terms, Tweed jacket, beige jodhpurs, shirt and tie or stock, long boots. No plaiting necessary.
Full Hunting Days - These days last around 3 hours and are faster with optional jumping.
Dress Code – From the Opening Meet onwards, Hunt coats, beige jodhpurs, shirt and hunting stock. Ladies should wear hair nets and minimum jewellery for safety reasons.
The Masters of the CBH do understand that newcomers may not have a formal hunting coat, in which case Tweed is allowed.
What does it cost?
Otherwise known as “The CAP”. This varies depending on the meet planned. However once full hunting commences the CAP is £30 adult, under 16 years £20
The Road Crew
CBH have a Road Crew who are there to ensure our safety, assist with parking, manage road crossings and help with any problems we may encounter. They also lead the car followers to the best places to view the ride without interfering with the line of the Hunt. If you have family or friends following by car please ask them to familiarise themselves with the “Car Followers” guide, a copy can be obtained from Dave Fane or the HonSec. The main observation is to stay on the road and do not enter any field or private track unless advised to do so.
It is not very British to speak to people you do not know, however on the hunting field, “a smile and hello” is good way to make friends quickly and ensure that you get the most out of your experience of hunting with CBH.
It is traditional to plait ones horse for hunting. However the Masters have let it be known that whilst plaiting is very smart, it is not compulsory. As a mark of respect it is advisable to plait for the opening meet and meets where we are visitors to other locations by invitation of the landowners.
Going to the Meet
Allow plenty of time to get to the Meet as you are more like to arrive relaxed, which will help keep your horse/pony relaxed too. CBH usually hold meets where parking is plentiful but please remember to park sensibly. Never block a gateway or access unless specifically instructed to do so. When meeting at Temple Bruer, home of CBH, please follow the signs and do not cut across the grass or use the main drive.
What should I do at the Meet?
Ensure you have the correct money ready and a completed Disclaimer if it is your first outing with us. On arrival offer your CAP to the HonSec or their designated representative on the day, this person will be welcoming you as you arrive. One of our Road Crew assistants will help with directions to the parking area.
From the Opening Meet, on full hunting days, you are welcome to partake in a pre hunt drink, these will be offered to you or hosted in the house (if the meet is at Temple Bruer).
Once the Master and Huntsman leave to get mounted, you should also prepare to mount and be ready to leave on time. DO NOT expect the Masters, Hounds and Hunt Officials to wait for you!
Please familiarise yourself with the Field Master for the day, usually Danielle Longotano Rain and ensure you keep behind her and follow her instructions, they are given for everyones safety. DO NOT pass the designated Field Master, allow as much space as possible between you and the riders in front of you, however do not get so far behind the field as to cause a problem at the road crossing. Dave Fane and his Road Crew team will be on hand to ensure everyone crosses safely and no one gets left behind.
Is there anything my horse should wear?
If your horse is young, nervous or you are unsure of its temperament it should wear a GREEN ribbon in its tail. If you know that your horse is liable to kick it should wear a RED ribbon in its tail and be kept at the back of the ride. However, a ribbon does not exonerate you from taking responsibility for the actions of you and your horse.
Be mindful of how your horse is reacting to other horses around you. Just like people, it is unrealistic to expect your horse to like every other horse it meets. Therefore if you feel that your horse is behaving out of character, it may be that he/she is nervous of another horse close by. In this case we would suggest removing yourself from the situation by riding in a different location within the group. This usually helps to avoid any problems occurring and there are always people who will happily ride along side you to help settle a nervous horse. Should an incident occur between yourself and another horse or rider, as difficult as it might be, please try to refrain from reacting in the spur of the moment. We recommend that, at a suitably quiet time, you inform the Field Master or other Hunt Official who can then help you to deal with the matter appropriately.
Do not attempt to jump if there is a hound anywhere near a jump. Give hunt staff priority and let them move off before attempting to jump. If you know your horse is a poor jumper or you are not confident let others go first. Do not cut across the path of another rider preparing to jump. If you break a fence, please advise a member of the hunt staff or road crew in order that a repair can be arrange before the next meet.
Do I have to jump?
Whilst we try to put in as much jumping as possible, for those who wish to jump, a lot will depend on the area being hunted and the ground conditions. There is nearly always a way around a jump and a number of people do not jump at all. If you chose not to jump PLEASE follow the non jumping riders so as to avoid crossing the line of the quarry and interfering with Hounds doing their job.
The end of the day
At the end of the day CBH offer refreshments so please feel free to join us for tea, juice and cake, all of which are complementary, however donations are gratefully received.
You have perhaps just negotiated your first day's hunting, met new people, watched the hounds work and shared a great adventure with your equine friend. Hopefully you will also have enjoyed the very best of the CBH hospitality, tea and cake, and now its time to go home for a well deserved rest.
But please, don't just slip away, a quick thank you, to the Masters, Huntsman and don't forget the Quarry (without whom the hounds would have nothing to hunt!), goes a long way. They all put in a lot of work behind the scene to enable us all to enjoy our Sunday outings with the hounds.
FINALLY, please leave the yard clean, including picking up any presents your horse may have left behind.
We hope you have had the most amazing day and we all look forward to seeing you next time.
Thank you for taking the time to read the above,
we hope it will help you to make the very best of your outings with the
Cranwell Bloodhounds have a range of lovely new clothing, for both riders and supporters, please see our catalogue.