RULES AND CUSTOMS IN THE HUNTING FIELD
- The control and management of a day’s hunting is the responsibility of The Joint Masters. In the hunting field their word is LAW! In the event of a follower being sent home, no refund is available.
- Damage, or repair work needed, should be reported to the Hunt Secretary as soon as possible. The fee for breaking a gate is currently £120 and must be paid promptly and before the next meet. The Joint Masters and Hunt Secretary also welcome suggestions for innovations and improvements which would lead to the opening of the country or would benefit the farming community in general.
- Kicking horses are an abomination in the hunting field! Red or green ribbons do not excuse the rider from responsibility. If a horse with such a ribbon is brought to a meet it must be kept very well clear of hounds and of other horses.
- Mounted followers are expected to be at the meet no less than 5 minutes before the appointed time. On arrival at the meet first greet the Hunt Secretary and pay any money due, then the Master (a polite ‘Good Morning,’ is all that is needed) and the Huntsman. Late arrivals risk being sent home unless an arrangement has been made with the Hunt Secretary at least 24 Hours ahead. It is never acceptable to start hunting when second horses arrive.
- Good and correct turnout for both rider and horse is a tradition of the hunting field. If you are not sure please ask, however for a normal day with the Berkeley Ladies are expected to wear Formal Navy Hunting Jackets and Gentleman in Black, White/Cream Jodhpurs, Formal White Shirts, White/Cream Stock (Pinned), Black Riding Boots and a Navy or Black Hat Silk. Ladies shall also wear a hair net to keep hair under the hat. Hunt Staff and Gentleman Masters are distinguished by the Berkeley Family Yellow Jackets with Green Trim with Lady Masters sporting Navy and Burgundy. Visiting Masters may wear their respective Hunt colours as a mark of respect to their position. During Cubbing season both Ladies and Gentleman are expected to wear a traditional Rat Catcher Jacket, Coloured Formal Shirt, Hunting Tie for Gentleman and Coloured Stock (Pinned) for Ladies, Brown/Dark Riding Boots and a Navy or Black Hat Silk. The Berkeley Hunt strongly encourages the choice of an appropriate riding hat that meets BE standards. Horses shall be well turned out with manes and tails plaited from the start of Hunt Season. Special Hunt Day rules will be announced by the Joint Masters in advance. After the Opening Meet Barbours or waterproofs are not acceptable. Pony Club members should seek advice from the Pony Club.
- Please ensure that horse boxes do not cause inconvenience either to the landowners and farmers or to other road users. This also applies to foot followers who should heed all announcements by the Joint Masters on the day.
- Those who hunt are advised to ensure they are covered by the appropriate insurance.
- Please enjoy hunting but remember that it can only take place through the goodwill of landowners and farmers. To expand on this point mounted followers will; respect boundaries as indicated by the Joint/Field Masters, close all gates after passing through, not stray onto planted crops, report damage as per paragraph 2 and generally conduct themselves in a manner in accordance with the countryside code.
- Car followers are particularly asked not to block farmers’ gateways and drives and refer to paragraph 6.
- Mounted followers will be courteous to other road users both in hacking to/from meets and whilst in the field. Please see the BHS Section on Horses and the Highway Code. This also extends to the courteous greeting of foot followers and other walking members of the public.