Go Horse – A step back in time: fox hunting!

Of ancient tradition, horse hunting is a sport carried out in groups and we use packs of dogs that have the task of identifying and flushing out the prey. In France the target of hunting is usually the deer, while much better known is the typically British fox hunting. Because it is a sporting discipline, hunting on horseback in most European countries does not end with any killing of prey: essentially, hunting is only simulated and dogs are conditioned in their search by the artificial smell of game – scent layer – pre-spread. Discover now all our trips, tours, holidays and horse trekking in Great Britain. ORGANIZATION OF THE HUNTING In order for a hunt on horseback to take place without unexpected events and on a regular basis, the presence of the Master – the person responsible for organizing the hunt -, of the Field Master – subordinate of the Master, is responsible for the participants – and, obviously, of the “Field” – English noun that indicates the group of participants in the entirely hunt – assisted by the Huntsman – the person in charge of training and conducting the pack of dogs – and by his assistants – called “whippers- in ”- who support him in the management of the“ Pack ”- the pack of dogs, usually chosen from Foxhound breed specimens -. To call the dogs, incite them and bring them back to order, Huntsman and “whippers-in” use the famous horn and long whips. To take part in a hunt on horseback it is necessary to follow a very rigorous ceremonial, also with regard to clothing, consisting of light riding breeches, knee-high boots, white shirt and the distinctive red jacket. Moreover, bows of different colors signal the less experienced horses – usually destined to the rear so as not to hinder the sudden movements of the more practical specimens – and those rebellious or particularly excitable.

HISTORY OF HORSE HUNTING The earliest known fox hunting took place in the county of Norfolk, in eastern England, in the mid 1500s. For a very long time, horse hunting has been a form of demographic control of wild animals considered particularly dangerous or harmful to agricultural and rural activities in general in certain countries: this is the case of wolf hunting, typical of some regions of France, and than that with wild boar typical of the Maremma and Sardinia areas. Today, an important moment of social gathering, since 2005 fox hunting has been prohibited by law in those countries, such as England, Wales and Scotland where this tradition originated. Our friends of the Società Toscana Caccia alla Volpe (Tuscan Fox Hunt Society) organize various dates throughout the year. We remember the latest for 2017: November 26 in the beautiful Tenuta del Fontino in Massa Marittima and December 10 in Punta Ala.

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