The Traditions of Fox Hunting
Are Steeped in History

The rules by which our sport functions, ancient as they may be,
still protect the days sport, protect the landowners land and their
livestock as well as the hounds, horses, hunt staff
and riders from needless harm.

We highly recommend reading Riding to Hounds in America, An introduction for foxhunters
by William P. Wadsworth
. (Available at local tack shops and on line this little paperback book is inexpensive but if you want to be welcomed hunting -- worth it's weight in gold)

Hunt Policy and Protocol

1. A fixture card properly received is an invitation to hunt. NM-MVH does allow guests (see #6)
2. Respect the landowner and his property: stay off crops, hay fields, newly seeded or wet fields and lawns. Avoid interfering with livestock. The last rider through should close the gate unless otherwise instructed. Report any damage to Field Masters and make temporary repairs where possible.
3. Give every courtesy and consideration to the land- owners through whose kindness fox chasing is possible.
4. We hunt as guest of the landowners by specific invitation on the day of the meet. Do not trespass uninvited on other days.
5. Children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult and ride to the rear of the field except on Junior Days.
6. Cap fees are $80 weekdays. Juniors are $30., holidays are $100 adult. Same guest is limited to 3 hunts per season.
7. Guests must check in with the Field Secretary sign a waiver and pay the cap. Please call prior to the meet to let a Master or the Honorary Secretary know your are bringing a guest.
8. Smoking is not permitted in the NM-MVH field.
9. Observe common sense rules of safety, courtesy and good horsemanship. The field is requested to stay together at all times.

Do's and Don'ts
A Good Read for the Novice Foxhunter

[Reprint from Fox Hunters OnLine, written by Beverley Heffernan.]

Ah, the semi-annual fixation on 'what is correct' or not. For those new to the sport, I offer (again, I think) my opinion on how to get yourself out hunting, and how to get invited back, if you decide you like it.

1. If you know no one in the particular hunt where you wish to give it a try, call a Master or the Secretary (big hint: look at the hunt's entry in the Chronicle of the Horse Hunt Roster, which I think is out, or about to be, for this season? Among the details it will typically say 'Visitors welcome to hunt, contact the ________ ' (usually says Master or Secretary, that's who you should call).

2. When you make that contact, give full confession: You've never hunted before, are interested in trying it, is there a particular upcoming meet that you could attend? This leading question is helpful because the Master or Secretary may know, for example, that the next scheduled meet is a quadruple joint meet with a gazillion people coming, probably not the sort of thing a newcomer would want to start with (particularly if horse's bonafides for hunting are unknown or if horse has never hunted). There may be a particular meet that springs to Master's/Secretary's mind that is favorable terrain, for example, or where a smaller crowd might be expected, the sorts of things that would make for a better first time experience all the way around. A Real Hunt is both looking out for you as a newcomer, and looking out for the landowners, membership and quality of sport.

3. Having established that you can/should attend a particular day's hunting, next inquiry is, how much is the capping fee, and to whom should I pay it? The payee is generally the Secretary or Treasurer but sometimes it is a field secretary. It is important that you know that person's name. When you get to the meet, check in hand, the first thing you will do is seek that person out, introduce yourself, hand over the check, and sign a release if the hunt requires it. I recommend a check rather than cash so that there is evidence that you paid. I paid cash entries at a hunter trials once, I think the hunt in question still thinks I stiffed them because I didn't insist on a receipt!

There is lots of general hunt information available at: -- The Masters of Fox Hounds Association of Noth America an organization established in 1908.

 A matter of Hunt Etiquette

When an invitation to a hunt breakfast reads "to the field" that means breakfast will be served to those who hunted today. If it just reads "breakfast" then all members are welcome and often this breakfast invitation will require an RSVP. One is expected to RSVP in a timely manner!

Attire Expected at NM-MVH

Clean horse and clean attire is always expected!

Opening Cub is ratcatcher-- Ratcatcher /Tweeds:
Field boots or formal boots are fine -- brown is perfectly acceptable. Shirts of subtile colors, stock ties of muted plaids/prints, vest of other than canary are also acceptable.The rest of September is polo shirt (Dark plain polo - never red and NO HALF CHAPS). October is ratcatcher (no more Polo Shirt). November marks the Formal Season with Formal Attire: Black boots, tan/canary breeches, black hunt or frock coat canary vest, white stock tie (Gentlemen with their colors wear pink coats) on Sundays -- Thursdays ratcatcher is acceptable.

It is your obligation to call the Monitor on Hunt Days to check fixture location, times, parking instructions if any and any weather related cancelations etc. that number is 301-371-4081.

© 2018 New Market - Middletown Valley Hounds, Inc. -- all rights reserved