Introduction to Hunting
The Grafton hounds meet every Tuesday and Saturday and occasional Thursdays during the season which lasts from September to March. If you would like to come hunting please contact the Hunt Secretary.
Most horses are suitable for hunting but they should be used to riding in company. There will be many opportunities to jump during the day and while there is nearly always a way round your enjoyment of the day will be much greater if your horse is a competent and safe jumper. A hunting day can be quite fast with long gallops across country, sometimes in quite deep ground, so you and your horse should be fit and well prepared.
A full hunting day will usually last from the meet at 11am until it gets dark, which may be 4pm in mid-winter or nearer 5pm in February and March. There is no need to stay out for the full day and you should always go home whenever you feel that you and your horse have done enough. However those who want to do the full day will often change to a second horse; there will always be a short pause during the day, usually between 1 and 2pm, at a predetermined venue to allow those who want to change horses.
While the Hunting Act (2004) remains in effect, the Grafton hounds hunt trails. These are laid, usually on horseback, so as to emulate as closely as possible coverts likely to be visited and lines likely to be taken by real foxes.
Following on foot or by car
It may come as a surprise, but nationwide there are more people who follow hounds on foot, by car or bicycle than follow on horseback. The Grafton is no exception, with a thriving band of supporters and a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join for a day, or on a more regular basis.
No prior arrangements are necessary, but if you would like further information or to be put in touch with someone who would act as a guide and a friendly face on your first day please contact us and we will be delighted to help.
A day following the hounds provides the opportunity for as much exercise as you wish to take, unparalleled access to the countryside and the spectacle of the hounds working in a natural environment. There is no charge, although a voluntary donation would of course be most welcome.
Arrangements for the current season
We will be trail hunting four mornings a week during September and October then Tuesdays and Saturdays from the beginning of November until the end of the season in March.
Great care must be taken not to park horse boxes and trailers on any village green, at road junctions or other places that might cause a hazard to other road users. Car followers are urged to stop or park sensibly and not to block the roads for passing traffic.
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