WHAT TO WEAR
Children should wear jodhpurs, a shirt and tie (if possible, but a polo neck would be acceptable), a tweed hacking jacket (which keeps them both warm and dry, but in really heavy rain it would be permissible to wear a dark coloured waterproof coat) and MOST IMPORTANT of all, a hard hat which should be your normal pony club approved riding hat. Many parents like their children to wear back protectors over their jackets and this is a sensible precaution, in case the worst should happen and the child should take a tumble.
On their feet children should wear leather jodhpur boots, with chaps if they prefer some extra protection from the rain and brambles. DO NOT send children out in wellies as they are not safe when wet and can slip through the stirrups, causing children on (possibly) bolting ponies to be dragged by their feet should they slip out of the saddle.
String or wool or fleece gloves are advisable, to keep small hands warm, if not dry!
It would be sensible not to wear jewellery (such as earrings) in case they get caught and damage ears and/or get lost. Girls’ hair should be tied back and/or kept tidy in a hair net as hair flying in your eyes can be a grave handicap when trying to see where you are going!
If you are planning to lead your child from the ground, prepare yourself for mud, rain and wind – anything else is a bonus in November.
The cost of your day will depend on various things. If, for example, you intend to lead your child from the ground, you will not have to pay anything at all. If you want to lead your child from your own horse, there will be a charge. It is more expensive to come out for a day within the Season proper, rather than during Autumn Hunting. The age of your child also counts; it is worth contacting the Hunt Secretary to discuss the options before committing yourself.
The amount of money that you will have to pay needs to be agreed between you and the Secretary BEFORE you come to the meet. The money should be given to the Secretary at the Meet, preferably in the form of a cheque, so that she doesn’t have to carry heavy cash around with her all day on her horse! The children of full subscribers aged 12 and under may hunt free of charge.
Autumn Hunting (per day) - 12 yrs and under – £15, 13-17 yrs – £20
Opening Meet onwards (per day) - 12 yrs and under – £15, 13-17 yrs – £25
Book of 5 tickets - 12 yrs and under – £60, 13-17 yrs – £100
Leading rein. A child with an attendant on foot will be exempt from any payment.
A mounted adult with their child, continually on the lead, will be charged £40 (per day) for a maximum of 6 days.
All children should carry their money in their pocket - not leave it with their unmounted parent!
The Masters wish to make it clear that, in the interest of safety, children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a responsible mounted adult out hunting and autumn hunting. The adult, who may accompany a maximum of three children under 15, will be subject to a reduced cap of £50 per day unless a subscriber or Grafton farmer.
This rule is waived for those members who have passed the Hunting Certificate. Members may work towards passing the Hunting Certificate from the age of 12. The syllabus is available from Maureen Wyman or on the Pony Club website under tests. For more information please contact Maureen Wyman or Claire Bonner MFH.
All children must wear or have in their pocket a label inscribed with their name, address and telephone number. A chocolate bar in their pocket is also a good idea!
The hounds meet at 11.00am. It is advisable to allow half an hour before that to park, unbox, sort out ponies and riders and hack on to the place of the meet. A designated parking place will be organised by the Field Master so you need to contact the Hunt Secretary for details the day before hunting. Do not drive right up to the place of the Meet and expect to unbox.
In the hunting field, children should always try to stay behind the masters and subscribers, especially approaching any jump, for their own safety.
The Countryside Alliance launched a new booklet "An Introduction to Fox Hunting" at Badminton 2013. You can download it here.