Hunting Etiquette








Foxhunting etiquette and rules are based on traditions that harken back hundreds of years to the very beginning of foxhunting. They have evolved through the need to handle certain situations in a uniform, disciplined manner to preserve order and safety in the Field. A group of well-trained riders on well-schooled and well-equipped horses can find tremendous pleasure, excitement, sport, and camaraderie enjoying this centuries-old pastime. The following rules and guidelines will help achieve these goals for all participants. Since the colorful vocabulary that accompanies this time-honored sport might be curious to the modern foxhunter, a glossary of terms has been included at the back of this handbook. We must all take steps to insure the safety of hounds, horses, and riders, as well as, to protect the interests of our generous landowners.
A. KNOW THE RULES: Please read, study, and discuss these rules thoroughly with an experienced member of the Field before hunting. If you are bringing guests, it is your responsibility to see that they have read, studied, and discussed these rules with you ahead of time (and that you have received permission from the Masters to bring these guests).
B. BE PREPARED: Be sure that you and your mount are ready for foxhunting. Members, be sure your guests are well trained, well mounted, and properly attired whether riding with the First Flight, the Second Flight or the Hilltopper Flight.
C. FIRST TIME RIDERS: First time riders must be prepared to prove their worthiness before the hunt begins. If you have any doubt about your readiness for the First Flight or about your horse’s readiness, join Second Flight until you have gained enough skill and confidence for the First Flight.
D. REVIEW THE RULES: All members, no matter the number of years of experience, should review this guide prior to the hunting season each year, and periodically during the season.


A. MASTER OF FOXHOUNDS (MFH): The Masters are in charge of every facet of the Hunt. All decisions concerning the Hunt are made by the Masters. This includes everything from where and when we hunt, to naming the staff that assists the Masters, as well as all matters concerning the well being of the Golden's Bridge Hounds. They are assisted by the Huntsman, the Whippers-In, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Field Masters. The Masters may decide to act as Field Masters themselves, or they may appoint others to serve as Field Masters. Except for the professional Huntsman, the Staff Members are volunteers and are not compensated for their services. The word “Honorary” is used before their titles.
B. HUNTSMAN: The Huntsman is the person who actually hunts the hounds. Using voice and horn, the Huntsman is able to control the hounds and move them from covert to covert as the hunt proceeds. The Huntsman has the absolute right-of-way as he follows the pack or leads them to a scent or covert. You should listen, quietly ask questions of experienced members, and learn the sounds that the Huntsman makes with voice and horn as they indicate the ebb and flow of the Hunt. The Huntsman’s authority during the hunt is second only to the Masters. Always turn your horse’s head toward the Huntsman if he passes close to you, so that your horse cannot possibly kick him.
C. WHIPPERS-IN: The Whippers-In (Whips) are responsible for controlling the pack hounds (Pack), and for riding with the Pack, as directed by the Huntsman, during a chase. They are the eyes and ears of the Huntsman. Due to their far-ranging duties, they often overtake the Field, at which time they have absolute right-of-way so they can proceed in their work without delay. Yield to them immediately whenever you see or hear that they are coming. The cry of “Ware Staff” or “Staff Please” will alert you that Staff may need to pass by you. Always turn your horse‟s head toward the Whippers-In when they pass close to you.
D. SECRETARY: The Secretary is the business manager of the Hunt. The Secretary maintains a list of all members, and mails a monthly fixture card indicating the dates and times of meets, as well as, other scheduling information.
E. TREASURER: The Treasurer collects all subscriptions due from members. The Treasurer is also responsible for maintaining the Hunt's accounts. Submit your payment upon receipt of the invoice from the Treasurer, always prior to Opening Hunt.
F. FIELD MASTERS: The Field Masters lead the Field during the hunt, keeping the Field as close as possible to the Huntsman and the Pack, but not close enough to interfere with them. The Field Masters represent the authority of the Masters and are responsible for maintaining order and safety in the Field, as well as for protecting the interests of the landowners. Listen carefully to the announcements of the Field Masters and follow their instructions during the hunt without hesitation. There will be separate Field Masters to lead the First, Second, and Third Flights.
G. THE PACK OF HOUNDS: Golden’s Bridge Hounds consists of hounds whose bloodlines have been selected to produce good scenting ability, voice, obedience, stamina, drive and desire. The Pack is the lifeblood of the Hunt. Great care is taken to protect each individual hound from harm and to improve the Pack’s aggregate hunting attributes through selective breeding. There are four foxhound breeds recognized in America: English, American, Crossbred, and Penn-Marydel. Golden’s Bridge Hounds consists of Penn-Marydel hounds.


A. GUESTS & JUNIORS: When desiring to bring a guest the first time, be sure to obtain permission from the Masters prior to the Meet. Obtain from your guest(s) signed release forms prior to the Meet. Your guest should provide his capping Secretary fee in sealed envelope. The capping fee should be given to the Field Secretary. Make sure your guest is properly attired and introduce him to the Masters, the and the Field Secretary at the Meet. Then introduce your guest to the Field Masters, who may then ask questions of the guest and his host, to make sure they are adequately mounted and proficient at riding, understand the rules of the Field and understand at what position they may ride in the Field. You should ride with your guest acting as his escort throughout the Hunt. Juniors (18 years of age and younger) should also be accompanied by a parent or other suitable escort.
B. PRESENTATION OF THE PACK: At the sound of the horn, signaling the release of the Pack from the kennels or the hound trailer, face the Pack and remain silent. There will usually be a greeting from the Master who may make an announcement or recognize special guests in the Field at this time. The Field Masters may also make some remarks or give instructions to the Field at this time. When the Pack moves off to begin the hunt, take your proper position in the Field as outlined below.
C. POSITION IN THE FIELD: Golden’s Bridge Hounds follows the traditional order in the Hunt Field, unless otherwise ordered by the Masters: --Staff (Huntsman, Whips, and Hounds) Masters; --Special guests of the Masters, such as a Master from another Hunt. --Field Master of First Flight; --GBH members invited to wear colors (properly, members with greater seniority would precede newer members); --Visitors invited to wear colors of their Hunt; --Members not yet invited to wear colors; --Guests without colors; --Junior riders, 18 and under; --Horses that habitually refuse and / or habitually kick, regardless of status of rider. --Young / Green Horses --Field Master of Second Flight; --Second Flight Field (following the same order as that of First Flight). --Field Master of Third Flight; --Third Flight Field (following the same order as that of First Flight). At the conclusion of the hunt, the hounds are returned to the kennel or hound trailer, at which time the Field thanks the Masters, the Huntsman, the Field Masters, and the Whippers-In. This ends the formal hunt.



1. NEVER DAMAGE A LANDOWNER'S PROPERTY: Never cut or damage his wire fences or gates or allow his livestock to escape. It is much better for the future of the hunt if you are left behind than to upset a landowner by damaging his property or allowing his livestock to escape or be injured.
2. Protect the landowner’s fields and crops: Stay to the edges of the fields or in the field rows, avoid unharvested crops and do not take shortcuts. Follow the Field Master, who will sometimes command “single track”, which means follow single-file to minimize trampling of crops. The Field Master also might command to “spread out” or “take your own line” to avoid tearing up turf with a single track of so many horses.
3. NO SMOKING: Smoking presents a serious fire hazard to our Hunt Country. Our landowners rely on their forests and fields to provide the income that allows them to keep their land, which we in turn are allowed to enjoy at their whim. Dry or dead foliage, hay and dry grass are extremely flammable. We cannot take the chance of starting a fire on anyone’s property. Smoking is permitted only by special permission from the Masters.
4. CLOSE GATES: NEVER leave a gate open that was not already open, even for a few minutes, and be sure that you latch it securely. If you are the last to go through a gate and not sure whether it was open or closed, CLOSE IT, and reattach the chain. (However, you must also tell the Huntsman or Staff about this gate after the hunt, as you might have trapped livestock in a place not agreeable to the landowner.) If you unlock or unchain a gate, make sure it is locked back, If you are the last to jump a coop and not sure whether the pole was up or down, PUT THE POLE UP.
5. STAY OFF LAWNS, GARDENS, FLOWERBEDS, ETC.: Landowners will not appreciate your horse trampling their lawns. Do not soil the lawn of whatever landowner is hosting the meet by cleaning your trailer onto their property. (Carry your refuse home.)
B. RULES OF THE PACK, THE STAFF, AND THE FIELD: 1. NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HARM A HOUND: Do not jump a fence until all hounds are clear. Turn your horse’s head toward passing hounds to avoid kicking one. Always yield to a hound on the trail or working in your vicinity. Advise the rider in front of you if a hound has passed you and is approaching them from the rear, saying “Ware hound (left or right)” The only people who have authority to address a hound are the Huntsman, Staff and Masters. Do not call to, cheer, rate, discipline, drop your whip or gesture to hounds, unless specifically asked to do so by a Master, the Huntsman, or Staff.
2. DO NOT PASS THE FIELD MASTERS: You must follow (and keep up with) the Field Master of either the First or Second Flight. Under NO circumstances may you take your own line.
3. TAKE YOUR PROPER POSITION IN THE FIELD: Foxhunting is not a competitive sport. Share position in the Field with other riders of the same rank while yielding to riders of greater seniority or rank. Yield to another rider if you have been enjoying the front for a period of time. Take a turn at closing a gate. It is not necessary to be right in front all day in order to enjoy the Hunt.
4. DO NOT TALK WHILE HOUNDS ARE CAST: A successful chase depends upon the Master’s and Huntsman’s ability to hear the Pack, and to follow them while staying within earshot. They must have silence when the hounds are working a line or are running. When you talk during a lull in the hunting (called a “check”), keep your voice low. This is especially necessary when the Field is large.
C. THE FIELD MASTERS' COMMANDS: Foxhunting relies on standard commands for reacting to many different situations. Some commands are verbal and some are visual. Knowledge of these commands is essential because they require quick, decisive actions. Failure to execute them properly may endanger someone's safety and can result in a swift reprimand from the Field Master. Many of these commands can be anticipated simply by being alert and watching the riders ahead of you as well as by watching the Field Master and the Staff. For example, whenever the Field is stopped on a trail, look around for a spot to back your horse into for a “reverse” and if a “reverse” looks probable, go ahead and back your horse out of the way. 1. “STAFF PLEASE” OR “WARE STAFF” may be said by a Staff member or a member of the Field. This command requires your immediate yielding of the right-of-way to a Staff member, most often a Whipper-In. Back your horse off the trail with its head toward the Staff member and remain in position until he/she has passed, or move your horse to one side of the trail if the Field is moving. (“WARE” is a contraction of “BEWARE”).
2. “REVERSE THE FIELD PLEASE” is the signal for each member of the Field to back off the trail so that the Hunt can reverse itself and backtrack from whence it just came. Wait until all those ahead of you have reversed and passed by you before moving out so that the previous order and position in the Field will be maintained.
3. “WARE WIRE”, “WARE HOLE”, “WARE BOG” OR “WARE VINE”, etc. is a warning passed back to the rider behind you to warn that rider of a hazard to his/her horse. Do so in a SUBDUED VOICE if possible, loud enough to be heard by the next rider, while pointing to the hazard so that the next rider will readily recognize it. (“WARE is a contraction of “BEWARE”.)
4. “HOLD HARD” is a hand signal made by a vertically raised forearm. This signal requires that you halt immediately without catching up to the horse in front of you stand silently and still. If horses are bunched up on a trail, turn your horse’s head away from the trail to discourage him from kicking the horse behind you. This command requires immediate, perfect execution, as it is done when the Field Master must listen for the Pack in silence. It is a difficult maneuver because the riders and horses are caught up in the thrill of the chase, but it is crucial to determining which way the Pack is going and to the ultimate success of the day’s sport.
5. “RIDER DOWN” is shouted if a rider ahead of you has fallen and may be in your path especially at a jump. If you hear this signal, do not proceed until the fallen rider is safely out of your path and someone has stopped to help him or her.
6. “TALLY HO” is the cry that every foxhunter longs to give. If yours is the thrill of viewing the fox, stand still, facing your horse in the direction taken by the fox and hold your hat in the air. Shout “Tally Ho” two or three times and point your hat in the direction taken by the fox.
7. “SINGLE TRACK” or “SINGLE FILE” is the command given by the Field Master when passing over ground that is easily damaged or when passing through a narrow opening between wire or other obstacles. This command means to proceed in single file, directly behind the horse in front of you. It is relayed back through the Field in a SUBDUED voice.
8. “TAKE YOUR OWN LINE” or “FAN OUT” is the command given by the Field Master when the going is heavy and single file could cause the ground to become so soft that all the horses might not make it through. This command is also used to minimize the damage to plowed ground. All horses should form a line abreast of each other, move across the field or woods until the problem is cleared and then return to proper position.
9. “LOOSE HORSE” is the signal that a horse is loose. When this cry is heard, stop your horse and look for the loose horse who may be running at a full gallop and may pose a threat to others. Do not do anything that will excite the horse further. Do not chase the horse. Usually the loose horse will allow himself to be caught easily and then can be led back to its rider.
10. “HARK” is the signal given by the Field Master or a member of the Field who has heard the Pack „open‟ (beginning to cry or speak). Immediately become silent and look for direction from the Field Master. If you are the Field member who has heard the hounds, raise your hand in the direction from which you heard the hounds so that the Field Master can take advantage of this information.
11. “WARE HOUND (LEFT OR RIGHT)” is what you will hear from another Field member who is warning you that a hound is overtaking you from the rear on one side or the other. You should yield to the hound. Make sure that your horse in no way endangers it then notify the rider ahead of you “Ware hound (left or right)” in a subdued voice.
12. “RUNAWAY” is the signal that a rider has lost control of his horse and that the horse is running away with him. This signal may be given by a Master, Field Master, the horse’s rider or a member of the Field. Get out of the way of the runaway horse.
D. RULES FOR YOU AND YOUR HORSE: 1. Do not crowd the horse ahead of you. It is neither polite nor safe, as it may cause a kick to you or your horse resulting in injury. Maintain a distance of one to two horses‟ lengths between you and the horse ahead of you. Maintain a greater distance when approaching a jump. A rider with his arm held horizontally behind his back is signaling you that you are crowding his horse and annoying him. Remember that almost ANY horse will kick if run up on or otherwise provoked. Chronic kickers present a separate problem altogether, as addressed below. When stopping your horse, turn his head away from the trail to discourage him from kicking the horse behind him. It is your responsibility to be alert to the activity of the hunt in front of you and to be prepared to stop. Your horse should be bitted and tacked appropriately in order to achieve a sudden halt without crowding the horse ahead of you.
2. If your horse kicks habitually, tie a red ribbon in its tail and stay at the rear of the Field. You do not want your horse to injure a rider or another horse. It is best to avoid riding a kicker. A horse that injures other horses may be permanently excused from the Hunt.
3. Do not lag behind. If you cannot keep up, you must get permission to leave the Field. If you must leave the Field due to an injury to your horse or yourself or because your horse is winded, obtain permission to do so from the Field Master who will then give you directions to get home. If you have been left behind and your condition prevents you from being able to speak to the Field Master, ask the nearest member of the Field to notify the Field Master at the next available check. This avoids unnecessary worry for the Field Master who might otherwise initiate a search! Do not simply disappear from the Field. Do not begin a Hunt with the idea that you will not finish. Have yourself and your horse in good condition so that you can keep up with the Field and finish the Hunt. No straggling is permitted. When hunting, you are either 1) in the Field, 2) catching up with the Field after stopping for some unavoidable reason or 3) returning home after receiving permission and directions from the Field Master. It is not permissible to be separated from the Field Master before moving from First to Second Flight and vice-versa.
4. If another rider has trouble and needs assistance, the nearest rider should stop to help. If more help is needed, one or two additional riders should stop. The rest of the Field will continue and those who stopped may resume their position in the Field at the next check. The Field Master should be notified if anyone has elected to go home.
5. Closing gates and raising poles that were let down is the responsibility of the “last man” to pass. The person nearest to him should stay with him to assist.
6. When approaching a jump, form a distinct line, single file, separated by four to five horse lengths minimally and jump in order. Do not cut in front of another rider. If a rider ahead of you falls before or after the jump, cry “Rider Down” and do not proceed until it is safe to do so. Do not ride so close behind the horse ahead of you that his refusal also causes your horse to refuse, or so close that you would be dangerously close to the rider ahead of you if he or she were to fall in front of your horse. You must also be on the lookout for and yield to Staff and hounds!
7. If your horse refuses a jump, go to the rear of the line before making another try. If your horse refuses only once during a hunt, you may resume your position in the Field at the next check. If you horse refuses more than once during the hunt, you should stay in the rear of the Field for the remainder of the hunt. This will allow horses who do not refuse to be able to keep up with the Hunt. A horse that refuses holds up everyone in the Field that is behind him.
8. If your horse damages a jump, you are responsible for repairing it. Stop at once and make repairs on the spot. Get another rider to help if necessary. If the damage is too serious to repair without tools or help, make careful note of the location of the jump, nature of the damage and its location so that you can explain the damage to the Field Master and the Staff. This will enable them to find it when they return with the necessary materials.
9. If separated from the Field, follow their tracks or stay on roadways. Do not take a short cut that could place you ahead of the Huntsman as this would interfere with the working of the hounds and spoil the day’s sport..
10. If you arrive late and must find the Hunt, follow their tracks. Do not try to second-guess the Hunts location, as you will surely find yourself in the path of the Huntsman and the hounds. Make every effort to be mounted and ready prior to the hounds being released from the kennels or the hound trailer.
11. Use the “buddy system” especially when riding at the rear of the Field. This will insure that no one falls behind or falls off their horse without someone being aware of it. This is especially important for the last person in the Field, newcomers and guests.
12. If your horse runs away with you, exert a steady pull on one rein and try to steer toward some obstacle that will slow him down. If other horses and riders are in danger, shout “runaway!” so they can get out of your way. DON‟T PANIC! Just hang on and keep pulling on one rein until he stops. THEN DO SOMETHING TO PREVENT HIM FROM RUNNING AWAY WITH YOU AGAIN! Unsafe horses are prohibited from the Field.
13. Cooperate with your fellow riders. We are all out to enjoy good sport and good fellowship. Share position in the Field according to the proper order discussed earlier. If you see improper behavior, you may want report it to the Field Master or a Master so that is can be corrected.
14. Turn off cellular phones and audible pagers. While cellular phones are a welcome safety device in the event of an emergency it is not appropriate to make or receive calls after the hounds have been cast. The Staff and Field Masters may utilize radios and/or cellular phones as necessary for the safety and betterment of the Hunt.
15. Do not charge up hills or gallop past other riders! Do not overtake another horse without asking permission to pass from that rider. Conversely, if your horse has trouble keeping up, yield to other riders so that they are not detained and work on your horse’s fitness. Always maintain a proper distance between yourself and the horse in front of you.
E. FIELD MASTERS‟ ADMONITIONS! Golden’s Bridge Hounds have identified a number of behaviors which, if avoided, will enhance the safety and enjoyment of all participants of the Hunt. 1. While the Field Master might be able to enjoy riding abreast and quietly conversing while the hounds are being carried forward or working at a distance, please stay in single file behind him when on a run. Do not gallop next to or at the flank of another rider. GBH country can often lead the Field down trappy paths and over steep hills with sudden turns. Staying at a safe distance from other horses while on a run is mandatory.
2. Be quiet enough to hear the hounds open. The Field Master regularly needs the assistance of attentive Field members to identify the proper direction to lead the Field. Be listening. If the Field Master holds up his hand (“Hold Hard”), be silent and still immediately.
3. Let the Field Master know by whatever available means if you are required to retire from the day’s hunting. You must request permission from the Field Master to join the other flight at a check. If you or your horse are not quite fit enough to endure a long First Flight run, hunt with the Second Flight. Under no circumstances is it permissible to take your own line or stray away from the Field.


Proper hunting attire is rigidly conventional for two reasons. Over the years that people have been hunting, a form of clothing has been developed which comes closest to the most practical under average conditions of weather and terrain. Secondly, some of the pleasure of hunting, for participants and spectators, comes from the feeling of tradition and from the spectacle presented by the hounds, staff, and field. Each hunt prescribes its own hunting attire. The following is worn by Golden’s Bridge Hounds:
1. GENTLEMEN INVITED BY THE MASTER TO WEAR GBH COLORS Black velvet hunting cap. ASTM approved black velvet safety helmet with attached harness strongly encouraged. A top hat with scarlet cord is appropriate for the most formal occasions such as Opening Meet but a safety helmet is preferred when hunting. --Scarlet coat (“Pink”) with silver GBH buttons and black on collar. --5 buttons – Huntsman (or Masters who hunt hounds). --4 buttons – Masters. --3 buttons – Members of the Field. --Canary yellow vest with metal buttons. Gentlemen awarded their colors may wear GBH brass or silver buttons their vests if desired. --White hunting shirt. --White hunting stock, properly tied with horizontal plain gold stock pin. A vertical pin identifies Huntsman, Masters, and Staff. --White breeches. --Black dress boots with brown or tan tops and blunt spurs. --White string gloves or brown leather gloves. --When visiting another hunt a black coat, tan breeches, and plain black dress boots are appropriate formal attire. The buttons for a gentleman’s black coat would be black bone with GBH in white. However, some hunts will invite you to wear your GBH colors when visiting. When the Golden’s Bridge Hounds joins another hunt in their country for a “Joint Meet”, an announcement will usually be made to clarify proper attire. Hunting whip with a thong and lash. A white hunting whip is reserved for Huntsman and Staff only. --No visible jewelry.
2. GENTLEMEN NOT YET INVITED TO WEAR GBH COLORS: --Black velvet hunt cap or black bowler with black cord. ASTM approved black velvet safety helmet with attached harness strongly encouraged. --Black Melton or twill coat with plain black buttons. --White string gloves or brown leather gloves. --Canary yellow vest with plain metal buttons. --White hunting shirt. --White hunting stock, properly tied with horizontal plain gold stock pin. A vertical pin identifies Huntsman, Masters, and Staff. --Tan breeches. --Plain black dress boots (no brown tops) with blunt spurs. --Hunting whip with a thong and lash. A white hunting whip is reserved for Huntsman and Staff only. --No visible jewelry.
3. LADIES INVITED TO WEAR GBH COLORS: --Black bowler with black cord, black velvet hunt cap. ASTM approved velvet safety helmet with attached harness strongly encouraged. --Black Melton or twill hunt or frock coat with scarlet colors on collar and black GBH buttons. Number of buttons under the same parameters as gentlemen. --Long hair neatly captured in hair net. --White hunting shirt. --White hunting stock, properly tied with horizontal plain gold stock pin. A vertical pin identifies Huntsman, Masters, and Staff. --White string gloves or brown leather gloves. --Canary yellow vest with metal buttons. Ladies awarded their colors may wear GBH silver buttons on their vest, if desired. --Tan breeches. --Black dress boots with patent leather tops, blunt spurs. --A shadbelly coat requires a top hat with cord, scarlet colors on collar and silver GBH buttons. This is appropriate for the most formal occasions such as Opening Meet, but a safety helmet is preferred when hunting. --Hunting whip with a thong and lash. A white hunting whip is reserved for Huntsman and Staff only. --No visible jewelry.
4. LADIES NOT YET INVITED TO WEAR GBH COLORS: Same as ladies with colors except no colors on collar, plain black buttons and no patent leather boot tops.
5. JUNIORS: Same as members not yet invited to wear colors, except juniors always wear ASTM approved helmets with harness attached. Boys may not wear tan boot tops. (Jodphurs with jodphur boots and garters are permissible.)
B. INFORMAL HUNT ATTIRE: “RATCATCHER” Informal attire to be worn for non-formal hunts after Opening Meet and to be worn during cubbing season. Informal attire to be worn for hunts prior to Opening Meet during cubbing season. --Dress or Field boots. Chaps are not appropriate. --Brown, navy or black hunting cap. ASTM approved velvet safety helmet with attached harness strongly encouraged. --Brown leather gloves. --Hacking jacket or black Melton (no colors on collar) jacket with canary yellow or checked vest.. --Tie for gentlemen, choker, colored or patterned stock tie with horizontal plain gold stock pin for ladies. White shirt and white stock ties are not appropriate during cubbing season. Turtlenecks are not appropriate after opening hunt, but may be worn during cubbing season. --Buff, tan or tastefully colored breeches. Not white, black, patterns or loud colors. Rust breeches should only be worn by the Huntsman and staff. Hunting whip with a thong. A white hunting whip is reserved for Huntsman and Staff only. --No visible jewelry.
C. A BEAUTIFULLY TURNED-OUT HORSE: It is a pleasure to all participants of the Hunt, as well as to Landowners and visitors, to lookup on a Field of clean, splendidly groomed, clipped and tidily tacked horses. Only white contour-style saddle pads are appropriate (no colors nor embroidery). Tack should be well-conditioned, clean, plain, strong and unadorned. Hunting. Braided manes with braided or pulled tails are welcome for any meet. Braiding is suggested for formal occasions such as Opening Meet and Thanksgiving Hunt.
D. HUNT BALL: 1. Gentlemen who have been awarded their colors are invited to wear white tie with scarlet tails and black lapels. They may wear black tie as an alternative. 2. Guests and members not awarded colors should wear black tie. 3. Ladies wear evening apparel. Ladies should not wear red


AWAY: A fox has “gone away” when he has left covert. Hounds are “away” when they have left covert on the line of a fox.

BLANK: To draw blank is to fail to find a fox.

BUTTON: The distinctive button of a hunt. Members may not wear the hunt buttons until they have been awarded their colors by the Masters.

BRUSH: A fox‟s tail is always called a brush. BYE: A bye day is a hunting day not scheduled on the fixture card (an extra dividend).

CAP: 1) Headgear for foxhunters. 2) A Capping Fee is a fee charged for hunting with a hunt of which one is not a member. While GBH does not collect a capping fee from guests, a donation to the Hound Fund is always appreciated. To avoid potential embarrassment, a GBH member who hunts at the invitation of another hunt should be prepared to pay a capping fee to that hunt.

CAST: 1) A planned move in search of a line (trail of the fox‟s or coyote‟s scent). 2) To make a cast. Hounds may cast themselves or the huntsman may cast them into covert. CHECK: An interruption of the run caused by hounds losing the line. COLORS: 1) The distinctive colors that distinguish the uniform of one hunt from another. Usually a distinctive color of collar on a scarlet or black coat. 2) To be awarded or given the colors is to be given the right to wear them as well as the hunt buttons.

COOP: A two-sided sloped wooden jump built into a wire or wooden fence. It is normally three feet to three feet six inches high. COUPLE: 1) Two hounds (any sex) for convenience in counting. 2) A collar for keeping two hounds attached to each other for convenience in control of training. 3) To attach two hounds together by use of couples.

COVERT: (Pronounced “cover”.) A patch of woods or brush where a fox might be found. CROP: The stiff portion of a hunting whip to which the thong is attached. (The whole whip, i.e. crop, thong and lash, should not be referred to as a crop.)

CRY: The sound given by hounds when driving and trailing, e.g. “The pack is in full cry.” CUB: A young fox.

CUBHUNTING (CUBBING): Early hunting before the formal season … a time to train young hounds and less experienced horses to the sport. Cubbing is also a good time for new members to learn the country and to become comfortable hunting.

CUR-DOG: A dog other than a fox hound in the hunting field.

DOG FOX: A male fox.

DOUBLE: To “double the horn” is to blow a series of short sharp notes. Signifies a fox is afoot. Used to excite the hounds at the early find of a fox.

DOUBLE-BACK: A fox that returns to covert after having left it is said to double-back.

DRAW: 1) To search for a fox in a certain area, e.g. “to draw a covert.” 2) The act of drawing, e.g. “Thorny Wood is a difficult draw.”

DRIVE: The urge to go forward on the line, e.g. “That hound has drive.” DWELL: To hunt without getting forward. A hound that lacks drive is apt to dwell.

EARTH: Any place where a fox goes to ground for protection but usually a place where foxes live regularly, i.e. a fox den.

ENTER: A hound is “entered” when he is first regularly used for hunting. “This year‟s entry” are the hounds entered or to be entered this season.

FEATHER: A hound “feathers” when he indicates, by actions rather than by voice, that he is hunting on a line or near it. The tail (or “stern”) is waved, the head is down and activity is concentrated and intensified.

FIELD: The group of people riding to hounds, excluding the MFH, Huntsman and Staff.

FIELD MASTER: The person designated by the MFH to control the Field. A Master may designate himself as Field Master.

FIXTURE: The time and place of the meet or assembly of the hunt. A fixture card is a card sent out by the Hunt Secretary to list the fixtures for a given period.

FLIGHT: (First and Second): The Golden's Bridge Hounds Field is usually divided into two Flights. Riders in First Flight should expect to jump all obstacles when on a run, maintaining a very fast pace. Their horses and riding ability must be appropriately prepared. Second Flight maintains a quieter pace, going through gates instead of jumping obstacles. Second Flight enjoys very good sport with frequent views of game. Riders should not press themselves to First Flight beyond their horse‟s ability or endurance.

GOING: The condition of the ground as it pertains to a horse‟s ability to safely gallop, such as “hard”, “deep” or “wet”.

GONE AWAY: 1) A fox has “gone away” when he has left covert. Hounds are “away” when they have left covert on the line of a fox. 2) A sound blown on the horn by the Huntsman to indicate that the fox has left the cover with hounds in pursuit.

GROUND: “To go to ground.” To take shelter (usually underground), e.g. “The fox went to ground in the main earth east of the swamp.”

HACK: To ride one‟s horse to the hunt meet. HEAD: To head a fox is to cause it to turn from its planned direction of travel. This usually causes a check. This is one of the primary reasons that it is unacceptable for any Field Member to be anywhere but in his or her proper position in the field! This is also referred to as “turning game”.

HEEL: Backward. Hounds following the line in the opposite direction from the way the fox runs are running “heel”. Also called “counter”.

HILL TOPPERS: Second Flight. See “Flight” above. Hill toppers might also follow on foot or in cars.

HOLD HARD: “Stop please.” The field should come to an immediate stop. This frequent command requires proper riding on a properly schooled horse. Running up on the horse in front is unacceptable. HONOR: A hound “honors” when he gives tongue on a line that another hound has been hunting.

HONORARY: A term used before the titles of Huntsman, Secretary, Treasurer or Whipper-In which designates that they are volunteers and not professionals who are paid by the Hunt. HOUND WALK: The Huntsman and Staff take the hounds out to “walk” in the late summer to ready their fitness and training for the approaching hunt season.

HUNT WHIP: The assembly of crop, thong and lash is known as a hunt whip.

HUNTSMAN: The man who actually hunts the hounds in the woods and fields.

LARK: To jump fences unnecessarily when hounds are not running or on non-hunting days. May annoy Masters and/or landowners. Not recommended.

LASH: (“Popper.”) The short piece of cord (occasionally leather) attached to the end of the whip thong away from the crop. Sometimes improperly applied to both thong and lash as a unit.

LIFT: To carry hounds forward. Usually implies that hounds were hunting when lifted.

LINE: The trail of the fox.

LITTER: A group of young born of the same mother at the same time. In foxhunting, applies to whelps (puppies) or cubs. Equally correct when applied to kittens or piglets.

MARK: When the hounds account for a fox up a tree or in ground by baying.

MASTER: The MFH. The person(s) in command of the Hunt in field and kennels.

MEET: The assembling of the Hunt for a day‟s sport, e.g. “The Meet tomorrow is at …” or “Hounds meet tomorrow at …”

MUSIC: The cry of the hounds is called hound-music.

NOSE: The ability of a hound to detect and interpret the scent.

OPEN: A hound is said to “open” when he first speaks on a line.

PACK: The Hunt‟s collection of hounds.

PAD: 1) The foot of a fox. 2) The center cushion of a hound‟s foot.

PANEL: 1) The portion of any fence between two posts capable of being jumped by a horse. 2) A wooden jump built into a wire or wooden fence. It is normally three feet to three feet six inches high. Sloped jumps are referred to as coops.

PICK-UP: The Huntsman picks up the hounds (or lifts them) to move them to another covert or to go home.

POINT: 1) The straight line distance made good in a run, e.g. “That was a six mile point, but twelve miles hounds ran.” 2) The location to which a whipper-in is sent to watch for a fox to go away.

QUARRY: The game (fox, coyote and occasionally bobcat) hunted by hounds.

RATCATCHER: Informal hunting attire. Also correct for cubbing season.

RATE: A warning cry given to correct hounds. A scolding set of words to hounds such as “Back to him” or “Ware riot.” (It is not appropriate for the Field to rate hounds unless specifically asked to by Staff.)

RIDE: A lane cut through the woods.

RIOT: When the hounds hunt anything other than a fox or coyote. Deer are the most common riot.

RUN: A period during which hounds are actually hunting on the line of the fox. This usually implies a gallop for the Field as opposed to a “hunt in covert after a twisting fox.

SCENT: The smell of a fox. The physical and chemical phenomena by which the smell gets from the fox‟s footprints to the hound‟s nose. Scent can be good or bad, meaning easy to follow or difficult. It depends in general on weather.

SPEAK: To give voice or tongue. To open. Usually of a single hound, e.g. “I heard Elias speak on a line.”

STAFF: The Huntsman, Whippers-In, Secretary, Treasurer and the Field Masters.

STERN: Tail of a hound.

TALLY HO: Call these words when you view game. Remove your hat and point it in the direction in which you saw the game move. It is intended to advise the Huntsman, Masters and Staff of the location of the quarry.

THONG: The long flexible leather portion of a hunting whip joining the last to the crop.  

TONGUE: Cry. A hound “gives tongue” or “speaks” when he proclaims with his voice that he is on line.

VIEW: See (or sight of) the fox.

VIEW HOLLOA: The name of the cry given by a person upon viewing a fox. This tradition primordial scream is reserved for Masters, Huntsman and Staff. When you, as a Field member, are the first to view the quarry, you should call “Tally Ho”, remove your hat and point it in the direction in which you saw the game move.

VIXEN: A female fox.

WALK: Puppies are “sent out at walk” in the summer and fall of their first year in the care of members of the Hunt to teach them about people and the sights and sounds outside the kennel.

WARE: A caution 1) to riders, e.g. “Ware wire.” 2) to hounds, e.g. “Ware riot.” An abbreviation of beware.

WHELP: A young puppy. To bear puppies, e.g. “That hound was whelped on 3/6/97.”

WHIPPER-IN: (Whip) A Staff member who assists the Huntsman in the control of the hounds. The Field always yields to Staff.