MASTERS

The Masters supervise the kennels and the breeding and care of the hounds. They direct all activities of the Huntsman. They, as the name implies, are the Master from the time the Hunt assembles until he or she dismisses the Field. The Master’s word is final in all matters relating to hounds and hunting. The Master leads the Field, giving enough distance to the huntsman to work with the hounds. This necessitates keeping the Field behind him or her so as not to interfere with the hounds and close enough for everyone to see and hear. The Field is aware of this and at all times stays behind the Master.

The Masters are ultimately responsible for the welfare of the country. This involves making regular visits to farmers and land owners.

HUNTSMAN

The Huntsman manages the kennels and hunts the hounds. He or she is given every courtesy by the Field to make the job easier. At the Meet and during checks, the riders give the Huntsman and Whippers-in space to collect and gather the pack. Riders do not crowd the hounds or ride between the hounds and the Huntsman. They leave enough room for the Whippers-in to assist the Huntsman.

WHIPPERS-IN

The Huntsman is assisted in the hound control by several Whippers-in. Whippers-in turn the hounds back to the Huntsman, scout and report the movement of the hounds or fox, and encourage the hounds, as required. Only the Huntsman gives orders to the Whippers-in.

THE FIELD SECRETARY

The Field Secretary assists the Hunt Secretary by obtaining signed Release and Waiver of Liability forms and by collecting capping fees and trail license fees where applicable (Indian Hill only). The Field Secretary also maintains records of rider attendance.

THE FIELD

Members of the Field arrive at the Meet properly attired, mounted and ready to move off at the appointed time. Late riders do not attempt to catch up with the Hunt, as this could interfere with hound work. Late comers miss the Hunt.

Each member greets the Masters before the Hunt begins. This is not only a courtesy but also a necessity to inform him or her as to who is out. It is important the Field understands that once the Hunt is underway, only the Master and Whippers-in speak to the Huntsman. Conversation among members is kept to a minimum and in a low voice. The joys of hunting are to observe the hounds work, their cry, the sound of the horn, the chase and viewing the fox. Riders make way for all hounds and Whippers-in. If hounds are jumping a fence wait until they are well out of the way before you take the jump and always be cautious of hounds along the trail. It is inexcusable to injure a hound. If the Field reverses direction, the riders clear the trail and turn their horses to face the oncoming Huntsman, Master and riders that follow.

No one who hunts does anything to jeopardize the goodwill of landowners and farmers. Constantly be aware that you are a guest on someone else’s land. Any damage to fences or gates or any temporary repair to same must be reported to the Master. This ensures livestock will not wander out of the landowner’s pasture. Stay on the edge of fields to avoid crop damage and by no means ride on lawns. Do not hesitate to jump off and open a gate for the Master or Staff. Always wait for a person to remount who has gotten off to open a gate. Members are discouraged from leaving before the Hunt has ended; however, if it is necessary, always ask the Master when it would be appropriate to leave and the best route to take. Be sure hounds do not follow.

At the Hunt's end, a thank you to the Master, Huntsman and Whippers-in is always appreciated.

HILLTOPPERS

Hilltoppers observe the Hunt on foot or on horseback, by going to vantage points and waiting for the Hunt to pass. Routes are used that do not bisect the country to be hunted that day. Hilltoppers are led by a designated Field Master and do not ride with the Field. The Hilltopper group rides at a slower pace than the Hunt. All jumps can be avoided. This is an excellent opportunity for new members, guests and riders with green or unfit horses to experience hunting at a slower, more relaxed pace. The Masters determine who is qualified to hilltop.

Hilltoppers have the responsibility of not turning hounds or in any way interfering with hunting. Hilltoppers introduce themselves to the Masters and Hilltopper’s Field Master before the Hunt. Hilltopping social members and guests on horseback are required to pay normal capping fees. Hilltopper’s guests as well as social members are limited to five hunts per year.

NEW MEMBER AND JUNIORS

Out of courtesy, new members ride behind established members unless invited to the head of the Field by the Master. Juniors ride behind new members and adult guests unless invited forward by the Master. If an established member does not choose to stay up in the Field, he or she makes way for all others to pass.

THE GUEST - Capping Fee

Members seek permission from one of the Masters before bringing out a guest. It is the member’s responsibility to introduce the guest to the Masters at the meet. The member will then ride with his/ her guest in the back of the Field behind established and new members. The guest must sign a Release and Waiver of Liability before the Hunt. Guests who are minors must obtain the signature of both parents on the Release and Waiver of Liability form.

Guest's (includes social members) capping fees are given to the Field Secretary before the hounds move off. The fee is in an envelope with the guest’s and member’s names printed on it. The capping fee for Camargo Hunt is $75 for adults and $25 for juniors. Pony Club and 4-H members are allowed to hunt one to five times for a total of $25. A guest may hunt five times a season or at the Master’s discretion. Capping fees paid by prospective hunting members are not applied toward dues. A landowner riding with the Hunt across his own property does not pay a capping fee.

It is important that a prospective member of the Hunt or occasional guest, if not accompanied by his host, is accompanied by a designated member throughout the Hunt for the purpose of instruction and information. This is arranged before the day of the Hunt.

 

ATTIRE

There is probably no sport in which the rules and customs of dress are more rigid than in a well-organized Hunt.  The rider looks neat and appropriately dressed for the sport at all times.  Jewelry is limited to cuff links, unadorned stock pins and wedding bands. (No earrings). Hunt whips are optional. Headgear with chinstrap is always used according to the guidelines established by horse showing authorities

Effective anuary 1, 2003, all riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet which is:  ASTM/SEI approved and meets any other current requirements of USA Equestrian for juniors who are riding in a recognized hunter division horse show at all hunts or hunt organized events.  Riders 18 or over are strongly encouraged to use ASTM/SEI approved helmets. 

RAT-CATCHER (INFORMAL) - This attire is worn during the cubbing season and on all Tuesdays during the formal season.

  • Jacket - tweed or subdued colored hacking jacket.
  • Vest (optional) - simple unadorned tattersall or muted solid color.
  • Breeches - buff, canary, tan or brick.
  • Boots - black or brown.
  • Headgear - black velvet safety helmet with a chin harness properly fastened.
  • Shirt - turtleneck shirt in subdued solid colors or stock or tie shirt with stock or tie.
  • Gloves - string or leather.
  • Hair - If hair is not short, it should be done up tightly, be inconspicuous and in a hair net.

During the cubbing season, the attire of the Masters (past and present), Officers of the Hunt and Whippers-in is:

  • Shirt - green.
  • Breeches - rust.
  • Boots - brown.
  • Headgear - gray velvet with a chin harness properly fastened.

FORMAL BLACK - Formal attire is worn on Saturdays and holidays during the formal fox hunting season, which usually starts on the Saturday following the Hunter Trials. The season runs through the end of March.  The following attire is worn by those who do not wear scarlet:

  • Jacket - plain black or dark navy - the gray collar with yellow piping is worn by the members who have been awarded their colors.
  • Vest - canary yellow.
  • Breeches - tan, buff, canary.
  • Boots - black velvet safety helmet with a chin harness properly fastened.
  • Stock - white stock held with an unadorned, horizontal stock pin.
  • Shirt - white ratcatcher.
  • Gloves - string or leather.
  • Hair - If hair is not short, it should be done up tightly, be inconspicuous and in a hair net.

SCARLET - Worn by gentlemen members of the field who have been awarded their colors.

  • Jacket - scarlet, with gray collar with yellow piping.
  • Vest - canary.
  • Breeches - white.
  • Boots - black with brown tops.
  • Headgear - black velvet safety helmet with a chin harness properly fastened.
  • Stock - white stock held with an unadorned, horizontal stock pin.
  • Shirt - white ratcatcher.
  • Gloves - string or leather.

Masters (past and present), Officers and Whippers-in wear the same attire except for headgear which should be a gray velvet safety helmet.

Juniors may wear light weight hunting or tweed jackets, tan jodhpurs and jodhpur boots, with proper headgear in all seasons.

HUNTING WITH ANOTHER HUNT - No Master, Whipper-in, Huntsman or member wears his or her Hunt colors and buttons in another Hunt unless invited to do so.  When a member wishes to hunt with another Hunt, the arrangements are made through the Masters of both Hunts.  A capping fee is in order unless otherwise arranged.  He or she rides politely in the rear of the Field unless invited to ride with the Master.

FORMAL EVENING -

  • Men who have been awarded their colors wear scarlet tails with gray silk lapels and the hunt colors on their collars.
  • Other men members and guests - Black or white tie.
  • Women members and guests - Black or white formal wear.

THE MEMBER'S HORSE

Hunt tradition requires that horses are "well-turned out" (well-groomed with clean tack). It is important that members are mounted on suitable horses that do not kick and are controllable. There is no excuse for not being able to hold one’s horse. If a horse becomes fractious, unruly or cannot be held, the member excuses himself from the Field after requesting permission from the Master for the best time to go and the route to take.

If the horse has a tendency to kick, a red ribbon is tied at the top of the horse’s tail as warning to those behind to keep out of range. All members are responsible for their mount’s behavior, under any circumstances.

When taking turns at a jump, be sure to give the person in front "falling room". If a horse refuses a jump, take the horse to the back of the Field and take the jump last. Do not attempt to school a horse while hounds are running, this is discourteous and delays the rest of the Field. Members on green horses or wanting to go slowly ride in the rear of the Field behind the Juniors or should join the Hilltoppers.

"Fixture" Time and place of the Meet.
"Meet" The place where the Hunt assembles.
"Draw" Search for a fox in a certain area.
"Hark" Hounds may be speaking. Please be quiet and listen.
"Ware-wire, hole, grass" Beware of hazard to which member is pointing.
"Gate, please" Close gate, softly spoken, passed back to last in line.
"Low bridge" Aerial hazard, be prepared to duck.
"Hold hard" Fast stop accompanied by hand held up when voice would not be used.
"Hound, please" A softly spoken warning that a hound is coming up from behind and does not have room to pass.
"Whip, please" Make room for Whipper-in to pass.
"Reverse or Huntsman, please" The Field reverses direction. Move horses off the path and out of the way so all those ahead may pass, kicking end away from the trail.
"Riot" Anything other than a fox that hounds may run.
"Ware-riot" A term the Huntsman uses when hounds are running indiscriminately. Be prepared to get out of the way of Huntsman and Staff.

Refer to Riding Hounds in America for other terms and information.