Foxhunting is the sport of mounted riders chasing wild quarry with a pack of hounds. It is a union of humans and animals in the beauty of nature's setting. Man is an observer mounted on a horse, the vehicle that allows him to follow and observe the hounds as they hunt the fox. The scenario unwinds before the foxhunters eyes and ears with the sound of the huntsman's hunting horn as hounds give chase. The fox or coyote maneuvers, circles and runs through the country cunningly evading the hounds.
The music of hounds in "full cry" is laced with the sound of the horn echoing off the woodlands and hills as they pursue the quarry across plains or through woods, fields, creeks, marshes and over rock walls and fences. A crescendo of sounds and sights that thrill you beyond imagination play out in front of you and your horse until the fox goes to ground or hounds lose the scent and the hunt is over. One can compare it to a theatrical production with mother nature the conductor and the hounds in full cry, accompanied by the hunting horn, the orchestra. Man is the audience privileged to watch, as hounds and fox or coyote, the actors, unveil the plot with never ever the same act repeated twice.
The popularity of foxhunting continues to grow. There are now 165 organized clubs in North America and Canada and organized member hunts exist in 37 states. There are many reasons for its popularity. There is an old adage that says, “some people ride to hunt, others hunt to ride”. Certainly the thrill of galloping over the countryside on a fine horse, who meets his fences well, is a thrill for anyone. Also, the sight of a pack of hounds in full cry is breathtaking. Today's hunters have a special reward, the permission to ride over private and public land which still constitutes magnificent open spaces. No group of individuals is more aware of this privilege, nor is there a group more outspoken in their desire to protect quarry and preserve their environment. It is enjoyed by people from all walks of life and any age. It is a wonderful recreation for the whole family that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
For more information about Foxhunting read Chapter 3 from the Centennial View, "Our Sport: The Hows and Whys of Foxhunting", by Lt. Col. Dennis Foster (26 MB)