Welcome to foxhunting! We love our sport, and are happy to meet anyone with an interest in foxhunting. Following the hunt by truck is a great way to participate in the excitement and beauty, without the expense and danger. If you ride and are considering hunting, you can see what is required from horse and rider, and evaluate your own skill levels. If you don't ride, it's a great way to enjoy our beautiful countryside and learn a little about the sport.

 

The Third Field

  • While you may think you are just out to observe a day of hunting, you are in fact participating in the hunt as the Third Field. A Virginia Hunting license is required to follow the hunt in trucks. The First Field are those riders who follow along behind the hounds, jumping fences as necessary to keep up. The Second Field, also called Hilltoppers, follow hounds without jumping, usually going through gates. The Third Field, also called Cartoppers, usually pick a vantage point from which they can see the action without interfering with the hounds (NEVER called "dogs") or huntsman (the person with the horn). All three fields are led by individuals called "Field Masters". 
  • Some Cartopping Etiquette
    As hunt participants, you are expected to know and follow some hunting guidelines. By following these guidelines you will 1) ensure the safety of everyone involved in foxhunting, including horses and hounds; 2) not interfere with the day's sport; and 3) add to the day's enjoyment for everyone. While not a "team" sport, foxhunting is a "communal" sport, requiring everyone's cooperation for full enjoyment and safety.
  • Please review these guidelines, and ask your Field Master if you have any questions. We are eager to educate the public on the finer points of riding to hounds.
  • The Guidelines:
  1. FIELD MASTER: Your Field Master (who will be identified at the beginning of the hunt) is in charge of the Third Field, please follow their instructions.
  2. THE PROPERTY: You are a guest on private property. The landowner does not gain financially or any other way by allowing us access to his property.  We hunt solely with their permission and good graces.  Please respect the land, livestock, crops, and any persons you may meet while cartopping. Please stay with the group. Our landowners know your Field Master, and he knows where we are welcome and not welcome. As a guest of the hunt, you must be escorted by your Field Master.
  3. DISTRACTIONS: While we want you to enjoy a relaxing day, the bottom line is that we are hunting.  To avoid interfering with the hunt, you must remain quiet. Being able to hear hounds, often far away, is critical to understanding how the day's sport is progressing.
  4. Please:
    Keep conversations to a minimum, and at a low volume. If your Field Master says "Hark!", that is a signal to cease all conversation immediately, in mid-sentence if necessary.  
    Turn off your cell phones, Blackberries, whatever, unless you are a doctor or veterinarian on call. You may not think a fox two fields away can hear your cell phone ringing in your pocket, but you would be wrong.
    Turn off your car engines while at a "check" (stopped).
  5. CHILDREN: If you have children, please be sure they are old enough to keep quiet for a few minutes at a time. We love "young entry", and want to encourage their interest - we do not expect them to maintain absolute silence, but there will be times it is important to be quiet - they must be able to understand and obey requests for silence.
  6. PETS: We love our dogs, too, but they absolutely do not belong in the hunt field, please leave them at home. It is not only disruptive to our hounds, who need to focus on their jobs, but the foxes will know your dog is with you, and you will end up "turning the fox", a foxhunting faux pas that could result in you being asked to leave. And do not leave them at the meet in someone's trailer. Barking/howling dogs are very distracting to our hounds, huntsman, and staff, who must listen very closely to know what is going on. 
  7. DEPARTING: If you need to go in early, let your Field Master know. He may ask you to wait a few minutes, or go home a different way than you were planning, to avoid interfering with the hunt.
  8. SMOKING: Please do not smoke in the hunt field.  Believe it or not, it can impact the ability of the hounds to   track the fox, and it can cover the fox's scent. In some weather conditions, it is also a potential fire hazard.

Hunt Monitor

540-687-5254

Please do not leave messages on this number. Call 540-687-5747 if you need to speak with someone.