Drag Hunting as a Sport
Who Can Take Part in Drag Hunting?
All ages are welcome in the sport of Drag Hunting. If a child (or indeed, an older adult) can safely handle a sharp gallop along with some cross country jumping, then they can certainly take part in the experience. Some hunts can be more strenuous than others, so it is best to check beforehand with the organisers or the drag hunt secretary. The pace is quite manageable. The routes are not set in straight lines, but rather include loops and checks. Some drag hunts also have a second field master that helps to guide first-timers and novices, so asking for informations about it all can be an excellent idea.
The Drag Hunting Route
There are usually three to four lines for each day of drag hunting, with each line being approximately two miles each. Over the three to four lines, there will be around 30 to 50 fences to jump. Both horses and riders need to be fit enough to complete the day. In total, the drag hunts last for about 3 hours. The route can be adjusted – both in terms of difficulty and duration – for the riders taking part. A shorter, less challenging course can be areanged for those riders who are less experienced, and for those who have better riding skills a more challenging and advanced course can be also set up.
The route is generally not known to the riders, but the huntsman and filed master will have an idea about the course.
How Many Hounds?
There is no consistent number of hounds used. The Staff College and RMAS Drag Hunt each use 8 pairs, but some drag hunts use up to 15 pairs. In the UK there are 18 drag hound packs that are registered with the Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association (MDBA ). These packs are comprised almost entirely of English foxhounds.