The Master (or MFH), is in overall command of the hunt and his word is final in the field and in the kennels. He decides when and where hounds will meet, what coverts are to be drawn, and when hounds will go home. He is responsible for hounds showing the best possible sport under existing conditions; and he is responsible for the hounds, the staff, and the Field neither damaging nor annoying the landowners who make the sport possible. He is the boss, and during his term of office there is no higher appeal. In many hunts the duties of the Master are divided between two Joint Masters.
The Huntsmen Controls the hounds, indicating to them by signals when he wishes them to follow a trail, He attempts to be sure that hounds work together as a pack by encouraging the tail hounds and steadying the lead hounds. In the case of a check he must be prepared to assist hounds to recover the line by use of a cast if necessary. His technical decisions must be quickly made, and staff and Field must abide by them.
The Whippers-in Assist the Huntsman in controlling hounds by turning them back to the Huntsman or by encouraging them forward to him as necessary. Whippers-in are also used by the Huntsman to retrieve the hounds should they engage a Hare. No one except the Huntsman gives orders to Whippers-In. No one, except by request of the Huntsman or MFH, should accompany them or attempt to assist them.
The Field Consists of the mounted followers and is controlled by the Field Master who rides at the head of it. The Field Master is responsible for seeing that the Field does not interfere with hounds in their work; and he is also responsible for seeing that the Field avoids damage to the landowners property. The Field should be aligned behind the Master by order of their office and by seniority of membership in the Hunt. All Junior members shall follow behind the Senior members. Please do not change position in the field as all unnecessary commotion tends to distract the hounds.
The Secretary Assists the Field Master in his job of observing and reporting the behaviour of the Field, particularly if it affects the landowners. Damaged fences should be reported to the Secretary. "Capping Fees" - (a set fee per hunt) must be paid to the Field Secretary before mounting.
Before the Meet
Hand behind the back Means this horse might kick if you crowd it.
Hand in the air by gateway Signal to people coming towards a gate, but out of hearing, that the gate should be shut. The response to which should be to hold your hand in the air to show you have got the message and will shut the gate.
Red Ribbon Worn on the tale of a known kicker. These horses should be kept at the back of the field until they become educated and no longer need to wear a ribbon.
Whip in the air (usually by Field Master) This means stand still where you are, not wait until you get level with the Field Master and then stop.
Whip held to side by huntsman If the whip is in the huntsman's right hand he will be keeping the hounds to his left. You should therefore let him pass so that his horse is between you and the hounds.
Advice for HOUND EXERCISE
Please arrive in plenty of time there is nothing worse than rushing around when everyone else is ready to go.
The field master is in charge of the field and will direct the field and give instructions on the direction you should follow You must NEVER EVER overtake the field master unless told to do so.
Please give extra care for the hounds during hound exercise, there will be young hounds out that are inexperienced around horses. Priority must be given to the hounds and always warn other riders if a hound is coming past by shouting "HOUND PLEASE!"
Dress code is similar to autumn hunting, Tweed Jacket, Shirt and Tie or just a shirt and tie if warm.
Body protectors are advised but not mandatory.
Horses should be clean but not plaited.
Always check the website for any last minute changes to the time or venue