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Trail Hunting Good Practice



or what every follower knows (or should know)

& what every person new to trail hunting would like to know!

The land we hunt on:

  • Always remember that we are on people's private land - please respect it!

  • Without the generosity and good will of our farmers, landowners and shoots we would not be trail hunting.

  • Anything which puts their good will at risk is unacceptable.

  • Do not ride on conservation headlands - if you are not sure DON'T risk it.

  • Keep to the edge of all crops when going on arable fields.

  • Avoid upsetting livestock - go round, not through.

  • Car followers - do not drive on private tracks / land unless you have personal permission.

  • Car and mounted followers - keep off mown verges.

  • If there is rough grass and mown grass tracks, ride on the rough grass.

  • Don't walk though replanted hedges with young trees in plastic tubes - go round.

  • Respect public footpaths and keep to the edge.

  • Avoid cutting up bridle paths in wet weather - keep to the edge.

  • If you see, or cause, damage to a fence, hedge or gate - or anything else - please try and make stock-proof with string (you should carry string in your pocket) and tell the field master or secretary ASAP.


Turnout is very important as it shows respect to our Landowners and the people that have organised / hosted the meet.


  • Normal dress for autumn hound exercise (or for children throughout the season) is light coloured breeches, tweed coat, collar and tie.

  • Normal dress for the rest of the season is a black or navy coat for adults and light coloured breeches with a white / cream stock.

  • Hats - black or navy hard hat with the ribbons sewn up, or a skull cap with black or navy silk.

  • Gloves - black, brown or white.

  • Breeches / jodhpurs - white, buff or fawn.

  • Boots - plain black boots or topped boots (gentlemen only).

  • Spurs (if needed).

  • Body protectors can be worn either inside or over the top of your jacket.  Please ensure that it is clean and well fitting.

  • GoPros - we politely ask that you do not wear head cams or GoPros as they are not correct hunting attire.  They also compromise the safety of the rider's hat / body protector.

  • For safety and smartness, ladies please tie back long hair and / or use a hairnet.



  • Your horse should be clean and tidy. Most people will plait their horses' manes if they are not hogged.

  • All tack should be correctly fitted, clean and plain black or brown.  This includes numnahs, boots and brow bands - no "bling" or bright colours please!

  • Stirrups should be black or metal


Please see the dedicated "Children" page for a thorough guide for children and young adults in the trail hunting field.

Safety First:

  • If you are on an untried or young horse please put a green ribbon in its tail and take care not to kick or barge others, or hounds.

  • If you know your horse may kick, please put a red ribbon in its tail - BUT it is still up to you to prevent it kicking others or hounds, take care when you position yourself.

  • Do not run into other horses - if you run into another horse you may cause it serious injury and get kicked yourself.

  • Turn your horse's head towards hounds when they pass and do not get in a position where your horse may kick hounds.

  • Make sure you have adequate brakes!

  • Warn other riders of dangers i.e. holes or wire on the ground - "wire on the left / right".

  • Slow down to a walk in farmyards and on all concrete -  be aware of upsetting stock in yards / farm buildings.

  • Always wait by a horse when its rider remounts.

  • Car followers - check carefully for oncoming horses or hounds before turning on engines, moving your vehicle, or opening car doors.

  • If hounds are running towards a main road or other hazard look sharp and be ready to help, stop traffic, turn hounds etc.

  • If someone is in trouble then go and offer to help them - it could be you next time.

At the Meet:

  • Always say "Good Morning" to the Masters at the Meet.

  • Seek out the Secretary and have your cap / sub money ready - preferably in an envelope with your name and details of the cap / sub on the front.

  • Arrive in good time and if unavoidably late ensure you seek out the Hon. Secretary to pay your dues even after hounds have moved off.

  • Park considerately and don't block others in without checking with them.

  • Don't block entrances to barns / gateways etc unless your host has agreed.

Car Followers

  • Please take care not to block roads near the meet or park in space at the meet which is needed for horseboxes or trailers.

  • After moving off, please take care to allow non-hunting vehicles to go about their normal business.

  • Please check carefully for on-coming horses and hounds before opening your car doors.

  • You will earn the profound gratitude of the hunt staff and mounted field for opening and closing gates when this is requested.

In the field - Gates / Jumping / Bridges  

  • Slow down when going through gateways, do not gallop through - the gateway may be muddy, uneven or have hidden obstacles.

  • Make sure that the person after you is aware that a gate needs to be closed by clearly saying "gate please" - and ensure they acknowledge your request.

  • Never leave a person alone when closing a gate, stay until it has been shut properly - you may be needed to help hold a horse if they need to dismount.

  • Remember to thank anyone who has opened a gate for you. A thank you and a smile is always appreciated.

  • When crossing a bridge stop when you get to the other side and wait for the next horse to come across - DO NOT gallop off until the horse behind you has crossed safely.

  • If others are jumping a fence close to a gate you must wait until they have all finished before opening the gate.

  • When jumping keep straight and do not get too close to the horse in front.

  • Wait your turn at jumps and do not push in.

  • If your horse refused get out of the way as quickly as possible and slot in where there is a gap in the jumping field so that you can try again.

  • If your horse has 3 refusals at a fence it is time to stop trying and use the gate. The area in front of fences can get cut up by numerous horses stopping - don't add to the damage!

In the field - General Behaviour

  • Move quickly to the side if the Huntsman  / Whipper In / Master needs to pass you.

  • If mounted, stay behind the Field Master at all times unless asked to go on point of otherwise assist.  The Master knows which "country" has been cleared for access and where restrictions are in place.

  • If sent on point, once that covert is drawn return tot the field, unless otherwise instructed by the Master or Huntsman.

  • Ask if you are not sure where you should be going or doing - we want everyone to enjoy their day.

  • Always be friendly and polite to everyone at all times - greet any farmers or members of the public with a cheery "good morning / afternoon".

  • Keep the noise down at the covert side - others may be trying to listen to hounds and the horn.

  • Use hunting cries and signals ONLY as instructed by the Field Master.

  • Thank motorists, pedestrians, and members of the public who give way with a wave and a smile.

  • Don't block roads - not everyone has the time or desire to go trail hunting.

  • DO NOT REACT TO ANTIS - alert one of the hunt officials to the issue.

Social Media & Photography

We know how exciting it is to be trail hunting and how you might want to post lots of photos from your day on social media. Please take note of the following guidelines:

  • Consider carefully the content of any posts you may put on Facebook, Instagram etc.  

  • Do not name / tag anyone in your posts without their permission.

  • Do not include locations in your posts.

  • Take note of people who maybe in the background of your photos.

  • Please be careful and respect other people's privacy - not everyone is happy to have their private lives posted on social media!

  • The Joint Masters do not permit the taking of and / or publication of any photographic images or video footage of the Hurworth Hunt unless permission is first obtained, which will be at the sole discretion of the Joint Masters. 

  • Hurworth Photography is our official hunt photographer, and photographs from trail hunting days and our numerous events can be viewed (and purchased) via the Hurworth Photography website :

Above all, remember to enjoy yourself. A day out trail hunting is meant to be fun, and it's a great way to get out in the fresh air and see parts of the countryside you'd never normally have access to. 

"No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" Winston Churchill

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