What is Drag Hunting?

What is a Drag Hunt?
At the Meet and in the Field
Dress Code
Hunting Terminology 

The Rand Hunt Club runs a 'drag pack' as the hounds hunt a pre-laid trail. The trail, or 'line' is laid by a mounted rider dragging a cloth soaked in a specially concocted scent. No live hunting takes place, but rather it is a test of the hounds' tracking abilities. The hunts take place over varied countryside, including a great number of fences of many different designs. A hunt consists of a series of 'lines' that have been laid about 6 minutes ahead of the pack. Generally four to five lines are laid, each being from 1.5 to 3 kilometres long and finishing close to water so that the hounds can refresh themselves before going on to the next line.

The hunt is non-competitive and this helps to create a uniquely supportive riding environment. The Rand Hunt has a warm and strong social atmosphere that is steeped in tradition. Riders of all skills can enjoy the excitement of hunting. From novice to professionals, all will find just the right amount of challenge and an extraordinary amount of interaction with their horses.

It is in this environment that a rider can bring on a young horse, or further develop a top eventer.  It is evident that virtually all horses take to hunting and that they clearly love the thrill of running with the field. As with any sport there are rules and a structure created to promote safety and enjoyment for all. 

Choose Your Field
For the braver hunters, the main field is led by the Field Master who, whilst guiding the field as close to the hounds as is safe, will seek out interesting jumps. The Field Master will give his field an exciting morning's hunt  - watching the Huntsman and her Whippers-in working with the hounds.

For those who prefer not to jump, or just want to take it a little slower, a hack is led by the Hack Master who being familiar with the territory is still able to give the riders a good view of the hounds at work.

Riders of all age groups and differing abilities enjoy hunting. Riders are offered the opportunity to enjoy riding in beautiful countryside as well as gaining access to land and jumps in exclusive areas not normally available. A rider in difficulty will always find that a more experienced hunter will immediately come to their aid. This creates a supportive principle of mentoring, which often creates close and lasting friendships.

Car Followers
Non-riding family and friends can enjoy the hunt as well. There is always a contingent of vehicles following the hunt, which include the hunt service vehicles. Their route is also carefully planed in order to allow the car followers to experience the hounds at work and the view the action in the field

The 'Breakfast'
All riders and followers are invited to the 'breakfast' after the hunt. Depending on the function or type of food served, breakfast costs from R30 to R70 a head. Refreshments are available from a cash bar. All riders are requested to sign the Hunt Register after the hunt (even if they do not stay for breakfast).

The Season
Traditionally the Opening Meet takes place during November and the season ends by April, but this can be affected by the weather.