The ‘Jersey’ fox is a specially made concoction of scents soaked into rags, which is then dragged behind a horse. We have two foxes who ride out in pairs, one in the East & one in the West and who are very experienced.
There is a real skill in laying the trail, such as zig zagging across the fields, lifting the scent off the ground so to make the hounds work. The hounds smell the scent about a foot off the ground, so ideally they should be ten minutes behind the fox. The best conditions are on a cool day when the scent will linger.
The Jersey Pack of Foxhounds consists of around 12 couples, and originate mainly from the Surrey Union, but occasionally from other packs in the UK. All hounds are pedigree and their family lines can be tracked back 100’s of years. Hounds ‘speak’ not bark; they are made up of couples so if you are talking of a hound you should technically say ‘half a couple’. Their names start with the letter of their sire’s (father’s) name eg Issues litter would be called, Imperial, Indigo etc.
Anyone wishing to know more about the hounds should contact the Huntsman, Mark Evans. He will be happy to show you around the kennels and maybe even able to take you on foot for hound exercise.
Mark Evans is our huntsman and he is the only paid member of the hunt staff. In the summer he is also clerk of the Jersey Race Course. Mark came from The West Street Tickham Fox Hounds in Kent and started with the drag hunt in 1994. His core responsibility is looking after the hounds, keeping them fed and exercised, which is a 365 day a year job. On the hunt he is in charge of controlling the hounds and is helped by 2 whippers-in, who are made up of hunt staff.
Mark is ably assisted by his wife Marilyn who is very active in supporting the hunt by taking photos and organising the hunt ball, amongst other activities.
The operational running of the hunt is headed by the Joint Masters, Nick & Steven Arthur, they are appointed by the committee. They are in charge of the Huntsman and Hounds and the running of each hunt.
To help the smooth running of the hunt, there are Hunt Servants who wear the Green Coats and there are also the Green Collars. These are people who have been given their hunt buttons for services that they have done to the hunt. Green Coats & Green Collars are awarded by the Joint Masters.
A Field Master is appointed by one of the Joint masters. You will be informed of this at the beginning of each hunt. The Field Master’s duty is to lead the field on the hunt. He or she will look for the best land to cross and banks to jump. You must never go in front of the Field Master.
To help with the smooth running of the club there are three sub committees which are chaired by members of the management committee:
The hunt and lines committee organises all hunting and chooses the lines and is responsible for liaising with farmers and land owners.
The members committee is responsible for the promotion of the membership of the club and for the organisation of equestrian and social events. They organise hunter trials, the picnic ride, evening hunt rides and hound exercise, a summer show, the opening meet dinner, hound trail and nights out such as a movie night.
The fund raising committee is responsible for raising money for the benefit of and to meet the needs of the club. They organise the hunt ball, end of season dinner and other fun nights out, breakfast meets and the 100 club.
All the above is for the members. There are no membership restrictions and there are a number of non riding members who just enjoy being part of the club.