The Lauderdale Hunt will be hunting their new pack of bloodhounds this season 2023/2024. This will be their first season.
Bloodhounds hunt “the clean boot” i.e. they hunt human runners that neither carry nor drag any artificial scent. It is quite literally the scent of the humans that the hounds are hunting. It is important to remember and stress this is NOT simulated foxhunting, nor is it “drag” or “trail” hunting.
The runners are called “quarries”, and they set off between 20 – 60 minutes before the hounds are “laid” on the line. Hunts vary in distance, depending on the time of year and the amount of country available. There are usually 2 to 3 hunts in a day, and people may join for as many or few as they like.
The active hunting season starts around the start of September with training meets, (“Tubbing”) which are very short hunts to get the “new entry” (young hounds) used to hunting with the pack. The start of the formal season is the Opening Meet, which this year is Saturday 4th November.
People can follow the hounds on horseback, paying the appropriate “cap” (fee), or watch from the road as a car follower just by making a donation.
From the Opening Meet onwards there is usually a varied amount of jumping, which is optional as when the non-jumping route is not obvious, a non-jumping Field Master will show the way.
When you book to hunt with the Lauderdale, or attend a Hunt meet/event, you are agreeing to the following conditions for your own safety and the safety of others:
# Riding a horse is a risk activity, and the level of risk is determined by the rider’s own choices and competence.
# Hunting involves riding across untamed countryside, where the rider has to constantly assess the risks that appear before them. This includes negotiating obstacles, rough ground that may have holes or boggy patches, and keeping clear of other riders if they are having problems.
# Each rider must assess for her/himself whether any obstacle is safe for them to cross/jump: as such, a reasonable level of equestrian competence is essential.
# Riding hats to the appropriate modern standard should be worn. Back protectors/air jackets are recommended.
# Riders and foot followers take part entirely at their own risk: the Lauderdale Hunt’s Master and committee, and the landowners, farmers and shoots over whose ground you may pass are not responsible, and disclaim all liability for, any loss, damage or injury to persons or property. Taking out your own insurance for personal and third-party risk/liability is recommended.
Such insurance may be obtained from the Countryside Alliance & British Horse Society amongst others.