Organized foxchasing customs are deep-rooted, having survived for over 200 years. The privilege of wearing formal foxchasing attire has an important significance, and must be earned. As customs have become so firmly established over such a long period of time, they have come to be held in high regard and should be strictly followed. While no rules applicable to all recognized clubs have been laid down by The Masters of Foxhounds Association, there are certain standards that are almost universally accepted. The following appointments are those accepted by the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds.
Ratcatcher: Field Members Cubbing
Ratcatcher is required for the field while cubbing.
- A “hacking” jacket of muted pattern and of a weight to suit the temperature.
- Necktie or colored stock for men and women preferred, although turtleneck or ladies’ riding blouse with neckband or “choker” is acceptable. White stocks should not be worn with hacking jackets.
- Rust or beige.
- Traditionally brown, but plain-topped black are acceptable. Jodhpurs and paddock boots are also acceptable. Rubber boots, when properly polished, are quite acceptable. All boots, however, require thoughtful maintenance; a rider with clean, glistening boots most often also has clean tack, a well-schooled horse and is a good neighbor in the field.
- Waistcoat (vest)
- Waistcoat (vest)
- Caps with ribbons firmly fixed up, bowler or caliente with black cover. Brown is also an acceptable cap color for cubbing or Ratcatcher only.
- Natural colored leather are preferred. Optional in hot weather. White string are proper on rainy days.
Formal: Field Members Regular Season
From Opening Meet, formal dress is required on Saturdays, holidays and for joint meets. On weekdays, formal attire is optional for the field. The staff is formal on weekdays and weekends.
- Black for men; black or dark blue for women. Bone buttons, except for Mastership.
- Waistcoat (vest)
- Canary or tattersall.
- Beige, buff or canary are acceptable with a black or dark blue coat. White breeches are worn with a pink coat.
- Plain-topped black. Brown-topped black boots are reserved for pink coats. Black boots with black patent leather tops are reserved for ladies wearing colors.
- White stock, neatly and properly tied.
- Cap ribbons for members of the field must be securely fastened up. Rider safety is important, and therefore, velvet-covered caps with chinstraps or a harness are encouraged. The straps must always be snugly fastened while mounted. Badly torn or damaged caps should be replaced or repaired. Black or blue velvet covers only on caps.
- Natural colored leather are preferred. White string are proper on rainy days.
- It is acceptable to wear an equestrian raincoat in inclement weather. The raincoat must be a dark color.
Gentlemen’s Evening Dress
- Scarlet, canary yellow facings.
- A canary yellow collar in addition to canary yellow facings may only be worn by: Masters; former Masters; Members of the honorary staff; former Members of the honorary staff.
- Hunt whip
- Carrying a hunt whip is chiefly useful for closing gates. All riders are encouraged to carry one. Hunt whips should never be stuck in the top of your boot or saddle flap.
- All riders are encouraged to wear spurs as an aid in managing their horses. Spur straps should match the boot color. Spurs should be removed before attending breakfasts after the meet.
Ratcatcher is the preferred turnout for juniors (riders up to 21 years old). However black or dark blue is acceptable.
Tradition has it that members of one club do not wear colors/buttons of their club when visiting another. When joint packs are foxchasing, HCIBH colors are permitted.
Brightly colored tack, bandages, boots, saddle pads and other accessories are not permitted. Please try to maintain tradition in selection of your tack and turnout while allowing for safety to you, your mount and others, i.e., use natural colors. Every effort should be made by members to present horses that are scrupulously clean and groomed. Manes should be pulled.
Braiding manes and tails, though appreciated for special events such as Opening Meet and Thanksgiving, is not required.