The Hunt Secretary’s Prayer

Waiting for the cast.
Waiting for the cast.

This is great!

The Hunt Secretary’s Prayer
(Green Spring Valley Hounds)

Oh, grant that the Meet today is blessed
With a field of “Believers” all properly dressed.

Though I’m not one to belabor the number of buttons
(though we all know how many, unless we’ve forgotten.)

Or over sartorial trivia to stew,
Like corners: square or rounded? Vents: one or two?

White stock ties with ratcatcher however: a no-no
Although not enough to make me say “Go home!”

And helmet ribbons up unless you are one of the chosen few-
If yours point down-just grab a spot of hot glue.

And oh, how I pray for hair contained in a net-
Spare me tresses resembling someone’s escaped pet.

Bandanas banished, stock ties done up right
Present to the spectators a harmonious sight.

And jackets and vests buttoned closed at the waist-
If somehow they won’t: to the tailor post haste!

Saddle pads shaped or square, but scrupulously clean,
In white, pretty please-not magenta or green.

Boots should be clean, polished bright and de-mudded
Horses too should be tidy: manes pulled and de-crudded.

Though it isn’t in Wadsworth-(gotta love the old gent)
Cell phones in the hunt field should be programmed to SILENT.

And it goes without saying-tho’ say it I will
Owners of said phones should be silenter still.

Don’t have the right kit? You need not despair-
Nor fly to Horse Country (though they have it all there.)

Just clean and tidy, Not a hair out of place
Shows respect for tradition and our landowners’ grace.

8 thoughts on “The Hunt Secretary’s Prayer

  1. I really like this, but I was wondering. For those “hunt challenged” (I have never seen one) can you explain what the following are (preferably with pictures)?
    – Buttons – I think you are talking about the number of buttons on the jacket, but can you tell me how many are correct?
    – Corners?
    – Vents – I think this is the flap at the back of the jacket?
    – Stock tie (with or without a ratcatcher)
    – Helmet ribbons (up, down, or sideways) And if you are wearing a helmet (one of the plastic ones) where do they go?
    – Kit – is this the clothing?

    1. All good questions! I will admit that I had to look up a few of the answers because our hunt isn’t that strict. According to the Master of Foxhounds Association: A Master who does not hunt hounds should have four front hunt buttons. A Master who does hunt hounds should have five buttons. There should also be two hunt buttons on the back of the coat if it is a frock coat and two or three small buttons on the cuff of each sleeve.

      Hunt coats generally have single vents, not double.

      Corners? I’m not sure what that means, so I’ll have to ask around.

      Stock ties should be White during the formal season, and worn with a white shirt. During cubbing season you can wear a colored/patterned shirt and a patterned tie.

      Helmet ribbons should point up (although I’ve never seen anyone concerned about it)

      And yes, kit is the clothing.

      The good news is that most hunts are very welcoming and just ask that riders be neat and safe!

  2. Hi Tara,

    The Stock tie is a tie. IN the formal season it is white and during cubbing it can be patterned. It’s a fairly long, narrow cloth that can be used to make a sling or a tourniquet in the hunt field (luckily, I have never seen one used yet). A stock pin is used to pin the tie. Stock pins need to be plain and functional. One of the benefits of becoming a senior member of a hunt is they generally give you one with the hunt logo on it!

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