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Home First Posted: Sept 3, 2007
Feb 21, 2012

Fox Hunting Attire

by Debora Johnson

Fox hunting attire is a tradition and has very practical applications as well.

The Scarlet Coat - The scarlet coat is traditionally worn only by the hunt staff. A rider who is not part of the hunt staff can earn the right to wear the Scarlet Coat but must be approved by the Master to do so. In less traditional hunts female participants may also earn the right to wear Scarlet Coats, as well. Sometimes the Scarlet Coat will be referred to as "pinks." No one really knows where this reference began, however, from a practical stand point, it makes the riders very visible. By so doing they are less likely to be mistaken by hunters for prey. It makes them very visible.

The Black Coat - The Black Coat is worn by "the field"* of riders who are riding to the hunt.

Men's coat   Woman's coat

Black Boots - Black is the color of boots worn in the hunt by both men and women. Traditional boots come up to the knee and are solid leather. "Field boots"* are not traditional. Most hunts do not allow them. Tall boots protect the rider's legs from scratches and bangs.

Breeches - Breeches are light colored. They are usually tan, buff or canary yellow. Breeches are tight fitting for safety purposes. A tight fitting garment is less likely to get caught or snagged on an object while riding. Also, it does not flap or make any noise.

Men's Breech   Ladies Breech

Shirts - The shirts are canary yellow or white with a stock neck.

Unisex

Stock Tie - The stock tie is traditionally white. However, during cubbing season* it may have assorted patterns or checks, as well. The tie can double for a bandage for the rider, horse, or hounds in an emergency.

Traditional Tie Cubbing Tie

Canary Hunt Vest - A hunt vest is worn and is a canary color.

Men's Canary Vest Woman's Canary Vest

Gold Pin and Stud - A gold pin and stud are used in securing the tie. The pin can act as a fastener for a bandage if needed.

Hat - Traditionally the men wear a black top hat. In most hunts, now, the head gear is the traditional rounded safety helmet or hunt cap for both men and women. It is traditionally velvet covered.

"Hilltoppers," who may be slower, less experienced riders, or riders introducing a horse who has not be in the hunt field, are not participating in the actual hunt, but rather following it from a distance; or spectators following the hunt in cars, are expected to be properly turned out* but do not follow the hunt dress code.

During cubbing season a less formal attire may be worn. Check with the hunt club to see what is required.

*The Field refers to the riders who are following the hounds.
*Field boots are boots that have laces in the front.
*Cubbing Season - Hunting young fox as a means of training the hounds. A prelude to the official fox hunting season.
*Turned out is a term that means one is properly dressed, clean, etc. That applies to the horse and tack as well.


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