Etiquette & Safety
What To Wear
Ratcatcher (tweed coat with coloured stock or tie)
Opening Meet and after
Black or Blue coat
Stock shirt and cream or white stock
Spurs with black straps
Gloves – preferably pale
Hunting cap or hat or skullcap with cover to match colour of coat – you should consider a hat or skullcap and/or body protector meeting current standards.
If you are unsure, play safe with a stronger bit.
Dark or sheepskin numnahs, following saddle shape.
Boots if required.
Plait from Opening Meet onwards.
Coloured ribbons to be used to indicate horses that might kick or horses that are inexperienced.
– Red – if kicks.
– Green – young horse or horse inexperienced to hunting.
Always turn your horse’s head towards hounds when they come close to you so that they do not have any chance to kick a hound.
Prior To The Meet
If you wish to attend a meet and you are not a member please contact the Hunt Secretary prior to the meet to let them know you are intending to attend. If you are inexperienced at hunting please point that out during the conversation and they will be happy to pass on any relevant guidance.
At The Meet And On The Day
If you are a visitor, or not hunting regularly, please find out who is the Hunt Secretary out on that day, and introduce yourself to them. In particular if you have been unable to contact the secretary prior to arriving at the meet please introduce yourself to them at the meet and if you are inexperienced then please point this out to them and they will provide you with guidance.
At the Meet please enjoy the hospitality of our host and listen and pay close attention to any instructions given by the Master
Throughout the day obey instructions given by the Master or Field Master at all times
Hounds will be kept to one side at meets and should not be approached without the huntsman’s permission.
If you see a stray hound whilst out hunting please let the huntsman know. Never turn hounds unless asked to do so by a Master or Huntsman. Never interfere with or encourage hounds.
When hounds are at fault, pull up your horse, stand still and be quiet.
When a Huntsman is casting his hounds, stand still and quiet.
Do not ride in front of the Field Master nor ride close behind hounds or Huntsman
If you find a hound who is stuck in brambles, or trapped in wire, do not approach them but let a member of the Hunt staff know.
We will endeavour to clear the trails of hazards prior to the meet but if you spot a hazard whilst riding like a hole, low hanging branch, stray wire or broken rail point it out clearly to the riders following you and pass it on to the other riders if it is pointed out to you.
If the Master feels you are a danger to yourself or others they may tell you to go home.
Do not jump what you are not confident to jump
Always close a gate if you cannot see anyone behind you; never leave a person alone when they are closing a gate.
Always wait by a horse when a rider remounts
Never gallop behind sheep, cattle or horses in a field so as to diver them onto hounds
Avoid riding on mown grass, verges, or doing unnecessary damage to crops.
You are responsible for your own Health & Safety and that of those around you.
Although use of mobile phones are not encouraged during hunting we advise you to bring one with you in case of emergency and have emergency details on your person.
We welcome children to all our meets; we hold a walk, trot meet for children at the start of the season and a children’s only meet once a year in the school holidays.
Before attending a meet with us for the first time parents or guardians of children and persons under age of 18 must contact the secretaries.
Children under 5 years of age should be on a lead rein
For children aged 6-13 the following arrangements apply:
A) Children aged 6 to 13 will be assessed by either Masters of the Cotswold Hunt or qualified riding instructors. The level of supervision required whilst trail hunting within this category will be determined by the Masters and
conveyed to the parent or guardian of the child concerned.
B) For children aged 11 to 13 who hold the Pony Club C Test Certificate, or the Pony Club Hunting certificate, no assessment will be required.
C) The Masters will in any event keep the supervision requirements for this group under review.
Children aged 14-17 may ride unsupervised provided that they hold the Pony Club C Test Certificate, or Pony Club Hunting Certificate, or an equivalent qualification, or have demonstrated their competence by previous experience. Here are links to the Pony Club C Test and Pony Club Hunting Certificate Test.
Cotswold Junior Hunt Club
Horse Boxes And Trailers
When parking, do not block the highway, or the entrance to any field, yard, or other private property.
Do not park in the car park of a public house without the prior consent of the Landlord.
Park well away from the Meet if possible.
Ideally, park on private property with the owner’s prior permission.
Foot Followers and ATV Users
The Joint Masters request that all our foot followers purchase and display a car sticker. These cost just £20 for a complete season, with all proceeds going directly to the Hunt, and are on sale at the Opening Meet and most Saturday Meets during November.
The Joint Masters also encourage all our foot followers to become members of the Cotswold Hunt Supporters Club.
Whilst following the Hunt, please:
Do not stop or park your car on a corner. This is likely to obstruct the free passage of a normal road user, and nothing is more infuriating for a busy motorist than to be held up by inconsiderate people following a Hunt.
Do not stop your car in a gateway, road junction, drive entrance, opposite another car or by a jump. Take care not to park on neatly mown verges outside homes.
Switch off your engine as soon as you stop. Road followers have to depend so much on hearing that a car with the engine running can be a real nuisance.
Always open a gate for the Huntsman as quickly as you can, and help by opening and closing gates for the mounted Field.
Shut any gates which have been left open, unless tied open.
Assist others to return escaped stock – cattle or sheep – to their field.
Pass the time-of-day with local residents and visitors. Remember that not everyone appreciates, or understands, hunting, particularly visitors to our Country, and you can be a great ambassador for the sport with an open and friendly attitude.
Children should be supervised at all times.
ATV guidance is available here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais33.pdf
As general rules ATV users should consider not carrying passengers unless the vehicle is specifically designed to do so, driving on roads unless suitably licensed, wearing appropriate safety clothing and undergoing suitable training.
ATV users should not crowd horses or hounds and switch off the engine if they approach or seem distressed by your presence.