Foxhunting Attire

Foxhunting Attire

Prescribed attire reflects the age-old traditions of our sport and contributes to the pageantry, which makes it such a memorable experience for us all. Foxhunting attire varies according to gender, seniority, and informal-versus-formal season. The following code of dress is acceptable, although the Masters always have the authority to require whatever degree of formality or informality suits the territory and the weather.


Foxhunting Attire Video

Informal Cub Hunting Season

The informal season begins our fox-hunting calendar in the late summer, and continues through fall, until the Blessing Hunt the first Saturday in November, which begins the formal season.

Informal Hunting Attire

Informal Hunting Attire

Informal season attire reflects comfort for the weather within the conventions of traditional fox hunting.

Helmets: Black or brown velvet hunting cap (no vents). A helmet with harness is strongly recommended. Juniors (riders age 22 and under) are required to wear an ASTM-approved safety helmet. Hunt members who do not own a velvet helmet may wear a black velvet helmet cover until one can be obtained.

Hair net: Unless your hair is very short, it should be neatly confined. Hairnets are advisable and correct.

Shirt: In warm weather, a plain polo shirt or turtleneck in subdued color, tucked in, is correct for either gender. (Note that only RFHH staff may wear blue.) In cooler weather, it is expected that ladies switch to wearing ratcatcher shirts in subdued color with neckband or stock tie in conservative coordinating color (not white), with stock pin. Men switch to wearing a man’s shirt with necktie, which is also an alternative for ladies.

Stock pin: Plain stock pins, with or without the RFHH logo, are appropriate. Ladies may alternatively wear the ornamental variety.

Vest: Ladies and men’s shirts may be worn with a canary or tattersall vest (optional).

Coat: A hacking jacket in linen or wool tweed in muted colors (no scarlet), tailored and vented, is appropriate. In warm weather, coats may be waived, with Master’s permission.

Breeches: Any earthtone color of breeches or jodhpurs—buff, tan, gray, brown, or rust—is allowed.

Belt: A belt is recommended, as it can be used as equipment in an emergency, i.e., to replace a broken stirrup, or as a sling.

Boots: Boots must be clean and polished. They may be either brown or black leather dress boots (no laces) or field boots (with laces). Half-chaps are not allowed. Formal boots with brown or patent-leather tops are not appropriate. Tall, black rubber boots are acceptable, as are canvas-topped (Newmarket) boots, and jodhpur boots worn with jodhpur pants.

Spurs: Spurs are optional. They must be heavy and blunt, without rowels or chains, and set high on the boot below the ankle. The straps must be the same color as the boots.

Gloves: Gloves are optional. These should be brown, tan, or black leather. White wool or cotton string gloves are allowed in wet weather.

Rain gear: Unless specified on the RFHH hotline, sport goes forth even in precipitation. On such days, the Masters may choose to allow hunting coats to be replaced by rain jackets. If so, the jacket should be a Barbour oilcloth coat, or similar style, preferably in a black, tan, green, or brown color. When visiting another Hunt, ask your host what is proper.

Hunt whip: A regulation hunting whip is optional for those with colors, or staff. Thong and lash may be removed during cub hunting. A short, plain-colored riding crop is also optional.

Wire cutters: Wire cutters carried in a leather case attached to the saddle are optional.

Flask and sandwich case: A pocket flask is optional; alternatively, gentlemen may carry a flask or sandwich case (or both) attached to the saddle, and lady members may carry either a sandwich case or a combination flask and sandwich case attached to the saddle. Be prepared to share!

Formal Season

Formal season opens with the Blessing of the Hounds on the first Saturday in November. From the Blessing until the end of the season, formal hunt attire is required.

Helmets: A black velvet hunting cap is required, and the Masters of the RFHH strongly recommend a hunting cap with harness. Juniors (riders age 22 and under) must wear an ASTM-approved safety helmet.

Hairnet: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Shirt: When coats are waived due to warm weather during formal season, riders must wear sleeved white riding shirts. With coats, a white shirt or turtleneck is required. A white or cream stock tie with stock pin is required for formal hunting.

Stock pin: Same as for cub-hunting season above.

Vest: Vests should be canary or tattersall.

Coat: Gentlemen who have not been awarded colors must wear a plain black hunting coat or frock coat. Lady members without colors must wear a plain hunting coat or frock coat, preferably in black, but navy and dark gray are also permitted. For field members, the coats must have three plain black or navy (to match the coat) front buttons; only the huntsman and masters may have coats with four or five buttons. Frock coats (which have a seam at the waist) have two additional buttons on the back. Coats must be buttoned at all times.

Colors: Ladies awarded colors add purple facing and light-blue piping to coat collars, referred to as the “Hunt Collar,” and buttons are changed to black engraved RFHH buttons. Gentlemen awarded colors and lady Masters may wear scarlet frock coats with the Hunt Collar and brass buttons. A black, charcoal, or dark navy blue shadbelly may also be worn, with the Hunt Collar and black buttons with the hunt’s emblem, and is suitable for formal days such as Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds. It is not appropriate to wear colors while visiting another hunt without prior approval from that Hunt’s MFH.

Breeches: Gentlemen without colors wear tan and lady members wear tan or canary breeches. Gentlemen with colors and lady Masters must wear white breeches with scarlet coats.

Belt: Same as for cub-hunting season above.

Boots: Boots must be clean and polished. Dress boots (no laces) are traditional wear. Plain black boots without tops should be worn with black hunting coats. Lady members with colors wearing frock coats have the option of adding black patent leather tops (sewn on). Gentlemen with colors and lady Masters wearing frock coats (black or scarlet) may add russet leather tops to their boots (sewn on). Tall black rubber boots are acceptable, especially in wet weather.

Spurs: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Gloves: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Raingear: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Hunt whip: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Wire cutters: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Flask and sandwich case: Same as for cub hunting season above.

Photos by Cameron MacPhail
How to tie a Stock
The step-by-step drawing below is courtesty of Horse Country.

Where can you find appropriate attire? Some of our member’s favorite sources are listed on our Favorite Places Page.

Rocky Fork Hunt Ball 2016

Rocky Fork Hunt Ball 2016

The 2016 Rocky Fork Headley Hunt ball was held on Friday, May 6 at The Darby House at Darby Dan Farm in Galloway Ohio, home of two Kentucky Derby winners. About 80 Rocky Fork members and guests ate, drank and danced the night away! (more…)

Trainer and Coach Program

Trainer and Coach Program

Whether your chosen field of riding expertise is in the show ring over fences or going down the center line for dressage, or tackling new trails both in Ohio and afar, fox chasing can provide exceptional cross training for both horse and rider and we would love to share this opportunity with you!

Because each of us brings with us our own set of riding skills and background, and because we want – above all – for you and your student’s riding experience with Rocky Fork Headley Hunt to be mutually enjoyable and safe, we require trainers and coaches to participate in a short fox-chasing course before bringing students and horses into the field.

Interested trainers and coaches may apply to participate in the half-day course that emphasizes rider/horse/hound safety and gives insight into the traditions and protocols of fox-chasing in general, as well as those specific to the Rocky Fork Headley Hunt. It includes mounted and unmounted phases and is held in conjunction with a regular club mounted hound-walk. Dates and times for the short course will be set on an ‘as needed’ basis, every effort will be made to make this course available to interested (but busy) trainers and coaches!DSC02968

Following successful completion of this course, the coach/trainer may, with permission from a RFHH Master, school a student or horse during hound-walking, a “Ramble” or hunt. ~ Permission to school a student on a hunt day must be obtained from one of the Masters before the day of the hunt, capping fee will apply.

COST There is no fee to apply for or participate in this program, the fox-chasing ‘short course’, or for schooling during regular hound-walks or “Summer Ambles”. However – trainers, coaches and students attending a hunt as participants/guests of this program are assessed fees (“Capping Fees”) as follows:

Schooling/Preparing the Riding StudentTrainers Cap Fee – waived*

Student Cap Fee – $40.00**

Schooling/Preparing the HorseTrainer’s Cap Fee $40.00*

*If a non-subscribing member of RFHH is coaching or training under this program, their normal 3 hunt annual limit is waived.
** The student may hunt a total of 3 times ONLY unless application for either subscribing or social membership is made.

For more information, please contact the Membership Chair, Stephanie Phillips, at 614-286-1744 or at membership@rockyforkheadleyhunt.com

Preserving Rocky Fork Hunt History

Preserving Rocky Fork Hunt History

In 2014, Dennis, at the time our new Rocky Fork Hunt historian inherited boxes of club memorabilia dating back to the mid 1930s. He selected the most interesting of our historical papers and photos and worked with the Columbus Metropolitan Library to get the materials archived. In addition he put together a fascinating slide show of our past hunt Masters. (more…)

Rocky Fork Blessing, 2014

Rocky Fork Blessing, 2014

Thirty-seven riders braved the brisk weather on Saturday, November 3 to participate in the Blessing of the Hounds ceremony. Following the ceremony and hunt, 90 riders and friends enjoyed a delicious brunch. (more…)