Ladies for Hunting
Full members and long time members of the hunt are more expected to be in proper attire than the new hunter , guest or visitor. Safety is the most important consideration in all attire decisions. If you are in doubt please feel free to review your concerns with one of the Masters or the Hunt Secretary of the particular hunt with whom you are riding.
Informal dress, known as ratcatcher, is usually worn during autumn hunting (cub hunting) prior to opening meet. Ratcatcher may also be worn for informal meets during the regular season.
Ladies and Gentlemen wear a tweed coat or hacking jacket; natural-colored (buff or tan, but never white) breeches; shirt and colored tie or ratcatcher shirt with collar and stock pin; tattersall vest; brown leather gloves; brown or black field boots; and hunt cap or safety helmet .
Remember, while it is not required of adult riders, a certified safety helmet (in black) is ALWAYS acceptable attire!
Formal hunting attire is always proper and is never considered over-dressed. Formal hunting attire will be worn at weekend, holiday, and joint meets. The Master may call for a suspension of formal attire when weather is poor for example when temperatures are well below freezing or a heavy rain.
Ladies wear a black frock coat or Melton Coat with plain black buttons. A lady will wear a canary or tattersall waistcoat; a white shirt with a white stock tie and a horizontal gold pin; buff or tan britches of twill, cord, or leather; wash, brown or black leather leather gloves ( string gloves are also acceptable ) and regular hunting spurs high on the heel. Boots will be of black, calf without tops -- tabs are sewn in but not sewn down.
What are "Colors?"
"Colors" is a term which applies to the hunt uniform or livery. The hunt-peculiar color on the formal coat's collar and buttons with the hunt insignia. The privilege of wearing the hunt uniform (i.e. "entitled" to wear colors' or "awarded one's colors") can been granted only by a Master. This is done in recognition of a member's demonstrated responsibility and ability in the hunting field, as well as for their continued loyal support of the hunt outside of the hunt field. Once a member is entitled to wear their hunt's colors , gentlemen generally change to a scarlet coat with hunt colors on the collar and with brass buttons with the hunt insignia. Ladies wear the hunt colors on a black coat's collar, have the insignia on black buttons, and may have black patent leather tops on their dress boots. Small brass buttons with he hunt insignia may also be worn on the waistcoat.
Colors and scarlet coats are worn on a formal day when hunting with one's own hounds (including joint meets) wherever that may be.
Wearing colors is never assumed when hunting with another pack. Visitors
should wear black or seek permission from the host Master to wear their colors.
Saddle flasks, sandwich cases, fence tools, holsters, camera cases, etc. should be unobtrusive and made of leather. Coats should remain buttoned while a rider is mounted. Fancy jewelry and perfume are inappropriate. As a nod to practicality, authentic-looking rubber riding boots are acceptable. Hunting tack is simply that which is most appropriate for the job: plain and strong. Bridles, reins, and stirrup leathers cut from a heavier pattern are more dependable in the hunt field. It must be clean, serviceable, and reliable. Check girth, reins, and stirrup leathers frequently. Breast plates are a good idea, both for the comfort of the horse and the added safety of the rider.
If a hunt whip cannot be safely carried, a rider should at least carry a crop, but it should never be carried in one's boot.
With respect for the overall visual picture, the less correctly turned out riders should remain in the rear of the field.
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