Home Store Hunting Events Kennels Stables Pony Club Contact

Volunteer Photo Members Forms Links News Steeplechase Course


Hunt Terminology

1. "Capping/Capping In" — this term refers to hunting for one time with the hunt field, "I am capping in today."

2. "Cap Fee/Capping Fee" — this term refers to the monetary payment required to hunt one time with the field. Capping fees are collected by the Field Secretary prior to each hunt.

3. "Check" — this term refers to either the interruption of the run, caused by the hounds losing the line, or an intentional stop to rest and regroup the hounds before releasing to find the line again.

4. "Colors" — this term refers to the distinctive colors that distinguish the clothing of one hunt from another. 'Colors' refers to the colored fabric on the collar of the coat worn by the rider. Colors and the right to wear the hunt's buttons are an honor awarded to the rider by the Master of Foxhounds.

5. "Couple" — this term is used for convenience in counting hounds and refers to two hounds, "we are hunting 6 couple (12 hounds) today."

6. "Cry" — this term refers to the sound the hounds give when hunting, "the pack is in full cry."

7. "Field" — this term refers to the riders in the hunt, excluding the MFH and the staff.

8. "Field Master" — this person is appointed by the MFH at each hunt and is responsible for leading and controlling a designated group in the field, "she is the Field Master for the Hilltoppers."

9. "Field Secretary" — this person is responsible for checking in the horses and riders before the hunt. The Field Secretary also collects capping fees and required liability waivers at each hunt.

10. "Fixture" — this term refers to the time and place of the hunt meet. A fixture card lists the fixtures for a given time period.

11. "Hold Hard" — this term is used when the field needs to stop immediately. It is usually called out and a hand signal is given. It may happen very suddenly. The command may be given by a Field Master or someone in the field.

12. "Huntsman" — this person is a staff member responsible for controlling the hounds in the field.

13. "Line" — this term refers to the trail of the fox scent, "the hounds are hunting the line."

14. "Master/Master of Foxhounds" — this term refers to the individual responsible for hunting, the hunt in the field and the kennels.

15. "Nose" — this term refers to the ability of a hound to detect and understand a scent.

16. "Ratcatcher" — this term refers to informal hunting attire. including tweed jackets, etc.

17. "Reverse Field/Forward Reverse Field" — this term is used when the field of riders needs to reverse it's course. It is a command given by the Field Master. When the command is issued, the field must walk forward and turn in a U-turn fashion, to insure safety of horse and rider.

18. "Scent" — this term refers to the smell of the fox, which can be affected by weather conditions, making the scent "good" or "bad," meaning easy or difficult to follow.

19. "Speak" — this term refers to "giving tongue," the vocal sound a hound makes when hunting, "listen to the hounds speaking."

20. "Staff" — this term refers to the huntsman and whippers-in who assist the huntsman.

21. "Subscription/Subscribe" — this term refers to refers to the monetary payment required to hunt for the season with the field, "I subscribe to Norfolk."

22. "Tongue" — this term means a cry the hound makes when he is on a line, "they hounds are giving great tongue."

23. "Ware Hound" and/or "Ware Hole/Ware Wire/Ware Branch" etc. — this term is used to warn the field to be immediately aware (ware) of hounds approaching or an approaching hazard. "Ware" = "Beware." The warning is usually given with direction, i.e. "ware hound left" or "ware hole right." The warning is passed down the line of riders, but not everyone needs to call out.

pic 24. "Ware Staff/Staff Please" — this term indicates a staff member (whip, huntsman, etc.) is coming toward the field. It should be passed down the field, but not everyone needs to call it out. When this command is expressed, riders must turn their horses toward the approaching staff member (nose out). If on a tight trail, riders must back their horses sufficiently into the woods, to allow clearance for an approaching staff member.

25. "Whipper-in" — this individual is a staff member who assists the hunstman in controlling the hounds during the hunt.





photographs courtesy of Kathie Davenport & 100 Years of the Norfolk Hunt
site design by Heather Jones