The Ashford Valley Tickham Hunt are very fortunate to have a number of photographers that follow the Hunt. One such photographer is Darren Clark who captivates the day on film for us all to see. More of his work can be seen on his website: http://darrenclark.zenfolio.com/
A site that may be seen in many areas of the countryside at this time of year is hounds out on exercise. Hunt Staff first walk with hounds and then progress to bikes before taking to horseback as exercise intensifies.
Hound exercise gets hounds fit for the coming season and helps the ‘young entry’ bond with the rest of the pack. Young hounds will be coupled to an older hound until the Huntsman deems them trustworthy to be allowed to exercise independently. Couples are two leather collars with a short chain joining them.
Exercising on the roads hardens the pads (feet) which will help prevent them becoming sore while hunting. Hounds will also learn disciplines such as road manners and how to behave around livestock. It is also a good opportunity for a new Huntsman or Kennel Staff to get to know hounds and visa versa.
Hound exercise will occasionally incorporate a visit to the Masters house or local Landowners and if Hunt Staff are very lucky refreshments are given.
Heavy road traffic in many areas makes road exercise very difficult and days on the road can be limited or maybe carried out early in the morning. If you have hounds kennelled near you, please be careful when driving, especially in the lanes.
Just a reminder about a few things!
Please ensure that your vehicles are left safe and secure while you are hunting. Make sure that all valuables are hidden from view.
Before leaving for home, have a check-around to make sure that your vehicle hasn’t been tampered with and that your lights, indicators are all working correctly. Importantly, make sure your trailer is still correctly secured to the towing vehicle.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously during the day or needs questions answered, please inform one of the Masters, the Hon. Secretary or a committee member.
If a crime is being committed , dial 999 straight away. Don’t take the law into your own hands.
Always report a crime so that it is on record!
Make sure that you tell someone when you retire from your day’s hunting. We don’t want to be hunting for some that has gone home!
Be safe and enjoy the day.