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The Hunting Code

Below you will find the code of conduct for Mock Hunting and Fox Control that have been drawn up in line with the Hunting Handbook 2005 published by the Countryside Alliance and Council of Hunting Associations.

The majority of the time we will be 'scent lining', however there will be occasions when we are specifically invited to undertake fox control. This is known as 'flushing'. It is legal to use two hounds to flush a fox on to a gun. Please see Do's and Don'ts of Fox Control below.

We have also included a Dress Code at the end of this page.

The Do's and Don't of Mock Hunting.

In order that everyone can enjoy the day, and that we can continue to access the widest possible country, The Masters would like to remind you of a few essential courtesies.

Care of Property

All followers and supporters, whether mounted or on foot must remember that our access to country is entirely dependent on the goodwill of farmers and landowners. It is vital to respect all property at all times and to respect those involved in the day that are not participating.

Please note:

  • gates must be left as they are found;
  • broken fences must be repaired immediately if possible, reported to a hunt official and left stock proof. If the damage is extensive, the person causing it will be expected to pay costs;
  • wire must NOT be cut;
  • if impossible to avoid entering a field of crops, riders must keep to the headlands;
  • stewardships must not be ridden or walked on;
  • to avoid alarming stock, the field must ride slowly through farm yards;
  • all grazing stock must be given a wide berth.


It is essential that anyone using a vehicle to follow must be equally respectful of property, highways and members of the public who are not involved.

  • Horse boxes must park and unload as directed;
  • public highways must be kept open at all times, as must any private driveways and gateways;
  • vehicle/foot followers must remain behind hounds at all times;
  • vehicles must remain on public highways and should never attempt to cross country.

Duty to Hounds, the Masters, Hunt Staff and the Field

  • Always give way to the Masters and Hunt Staff and obey the Field Master
  • never get between the Huntsman and his hounds or between hounds and the scent trail;
  • assume that every horse kicks hounds until you know it does not;
  • when hounds are 'on' scent allow them plenty of time to settle before following;
  • never cut the tail hounds off from the main body of the pack;
  • do not ride alongside the Huntsman unless you are asked to;
  • never speak to a Whipper-in or the Huntsman after moving off from the meet, unless it's vitally important to the day;
  • do not break file, or race other members of the Field

Riding in the Field

  • Never ride in front of the Field Master or alongside them unless invited to do so
  • Never ride with the Huntsman or Whips unless a Master has given you that privilege
  • When going through a gate, across a bridge or round a difficult obstacle, always wait until the horse behind you has come through, over or round it before riding away
  • Always stay with the field and Field-Master. The Field-Master knows where we should go and which way
  • When riding behind other horses, keep one horse's length between you and the horse in front. A kick to you or your horse is dangerous and can be terminal to your future hunting
  • If you have a horse that bucks or kicks out, keep to the back of the field and away from hounds. If you don't , you will be told to do so by the Field-Master; so avoid that embarrassment
  • Keep up with the field. If you don't want to jump, follow the Master that knows the non-jumping way round, but avoid making the field wait for you because you are chatting at the back
  • When hounds are speaking, stop talking and appreciate them working
  • Always move to one side to let Hunt staff past, face your horse to the oncoming rider, and call '' Huntsman on your right'' and so on
  • Always stop and allow a late hound through the field to avoid harm to the hound and to give it way to reach the pack
  • Always face your horse to hounds at a Meet or a rest point to avoid the risk of a kick at a hound
  • Wait your turn at a jump and give time for the horse in front to clear the jump
  • If you have to jump alone to catch the field, always walk your horse to the jump to check for obstacles the other side, show the jump to the horse even tapping it with your crop before returning to jump it
  • Do not short-cut across crops you are uncertain about. You will be certain to be wrong and could damage not only the crop but our hope of hunting there again
  • Consider all the points you have now read, commit them to memory and enhance yourself as a fox-hunter, able to help those who are new or forget
  • Finally ; Revel in the privilege of hunting across country you could never normally access on horseback; woodlands, broad pastures and rolling Downs, in sun and rain, heat and freeze, and then - smile

Do's and Don'ts of Fox Control

As firearms are involved, and in the interest of safety for all concerned, it is imperative that the field and foot followers understand the following:

Mounted field

  • Must stay with the Field Master throughout;
  • the Field Master will instruct the field as to which way hounds are flushing, and the position of guns

Foot Followers

The Hunt Stewards will instruct foot followers as to the direction hounds are working and the position of the guns.

Individual Responsibility

  • If, for whatever reason, you are not clear which direction hounds are working, or the position of the guns, it is your responsibility to find out/ask;
  • no-one, whether mounted or on foot, must venture within 150 yards of the guns;
  • when the fox breaks cover everyone, mounted or on foot, must remain completely still and silent in order that the guns are not distracted;
  • if a fox breaks cover and has not been seen, you may holloah 'gone away' after 10 seconds.

Dress Code

The aim of this page is to provide a "what to wear" rule of thumb for the mounted field. It also hopes to explain the subtle differences in hunting dress which are a code to "who is who" in the hunting field.

Autumn Hunting

Autumn Hunting refers to the period formerly known as "cubbing". Traditionally this was the time when the new entry of hounds learnt how to hunt their quarry. Meets were held early in the morning and the field were present to help "hold up" covert (i.e. prevent a fox from leaving the area).

The dress code is different from formal hunting dress and is often referred to as "ratcatcher", "ratcatcher" refers to the tweed jackets that are worn.

Please see photograph of Phil Westerby-Jones

The dress code for Autumn Hunting:

  • Hard Hat: Brown, Blue or Black
  • Tweed Hacking Jacket
  • Coloured hunting tie (stock) or shirt and tie
  • Gloves
  • Buff or fawn breeches
  • Brown or Black boots, or half chaps with brown or black jodhpur boots
  • Hunting Whip: Brown with lash and thong (optional)

Hunting Dress

Formal hunting dress is first worn at the opening meet and continues throughout the season until the end of The Cheltenham Festival after which time "ratcatcher" is re-adopted. There are slight differences for men and women and those who have the privilege of wearing the "hunt button" dress slightly differently again, as do the Masters.

Correct Hunting Dress:

  • Hard Hat: Black or Blue with the ribbons sewn up
  • Black or Blue hunting jacket
  • White hunting tie (stock). The stock pin should be worn horizontally
  • Gloves, white string preferred
  • White, Buff or fawn breeches
  • Plain black (ladies) or topped boots (gentleman).
  • Spurs and a brown hunting crop with a lash and thong.

Gentleman who have been awarded their hunt button may wear red hunting coats or tails (please see photograph of Mark Law). Ladies replace their buttons on their hunting coat with the "hunt button" see detail.

Gentleman Masters wear pink (red) coats with four brass buttons down the front, and two at the rear, or the distinctive Leconfield livery - dark blue coat with silver buttons; their ribbons will be down on their hats. Lady Masters wear four silver buttons down the front of their blue coats with two at the rear; their ribbons will also be down on their hats.

The Huntsman and Hunt servants

Unlike other hunts the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt staff wear the Leconfield dark blue livery with silver buttons. Hunt staff all wear their stock pin vertically.