Coming hunting with us
If you would like to come hunting please ring the Honorary Secretary, Miss Poppy Martin, on 07846 010431. Poppy will be happy to let you know where we will be meeting, where is best to park, what day might suit you, how much the Visitors Cap is and so on.
When out hunting the only thing that really matters is to behave well – good manners in the countryside make all the difference: smile, say thank you, close gates, help out the kids, chat to members of the Public when we are in their way. All of this will help to give hunting a good name and keep us going.
For children on the lead rein we charge a nominal £5.00 and older children/grown ups have several options:
• Properly support the hunt by becoming one of the full subscribers we depend on
• Buy a book of tickets, which gets you a discounted rate BUT you can only do once each season (then please become a subscriber)
• Pay the Visitors Cap while you make up your mind and so come on an ad hoc basis.
How to present yourself
Coming hunting is what matters. Don’t be put off if you haven’t all the right kit from day one. As you get more involved, you will see that turning yourself out smartly is important as a sign of respect and courtesy to the Mendip farmers whose land you are on.
Traditionally people wear a tweed jacket before the Opening Meet, while during the full season men wear a black coat and ladies a blue one. That said, a tweed coat is perfectly acceptable at any time of the year. Although Patey ‘Caps’ are traditional hunting is a dangerous activity and we would always recommend a BHS approved piece of headgear.
Just in case bring a charged mobile phone, emergency contact details, some baler twine to tie up gates, a sharp foldaway knife, a sandwich and, if you like, a hip flask.
You’ll find all shapes and sizes and abilities. To stay out all day you will need a horse that is fully fit. If your horse has never been hunting you must tie a green ribbon round his tail. If you think there’s any danger of him kicking also tie a red one (and please keep to the rear of the mounted field).
The Day itself
The Master is charge of the hunting day. Since at the Mendip Farmers he also hunts the hounds your main contact will be with our team of Field Masters. You’ll recognise the Field Master because they will also be in a scarlet coat and will make themselves known at the Meet. He or she will be in charge of the field of mounted followers so keep an eye on him/her and follow as closely as you are able. The Field Master knows what stock are out in which fields and where we are allowed on each day – you don’t!
Hunting is not about jumping, but having said that Mendip is a jumping country. That said, there are many people who hunt regularly with us and barely jump a stick. Our hunt jumps are kept deliberately low but the brave will find many challenges when hounds are running.
Please report any broken fences to the Field Master. He will be grateful to know where they are and he won’t tell you off.