South Tetcott Hunt

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Useful Phrases


Anti – term for hunt saboteur, generally only used by hunting folk.

Babble – A hound babbles when it speaks unnecessarily.

Biddable – Hounds are said to be biddable when they are at their most responsive, that is, after they have just checked.

Blank – A huntsman and pack draw a blank when they fail to find a scent from the area in which they were searching. Thus a covert can be said to be blank.

Brace – Two foxes, hares or game birds.

Brush – a fox’s tail

Cap – The subscription for a day’s hunting paid by hunt followers who are not members or subscribers.

Cast – A huntsman is said to be casting his hounds when he encourages them to spread out and search for the scent.

Check – A pack checks when it loses the scent

Country – Each Hunt has its own territory, regulated by the relevant governing body. If the line crosses into another Hunt’s country, the hounds will be taken off the scent at the conclusion of the Trail.

Couple – Two hounds. Packs are always counted in couples.

Covert (pronounced ‘cover’) – Generally used to describe a wood or area of undergrowth

Cry – See Speak.

Autumn Hunting – The period immediately proceeding the main Hunt season, when the young hounds are trained.

Draw – The act of encouraging the hounds through a covert in search of a scent.

Field – Collective term for mounted hunt followers.

Fixture List – See Meet Card

Foil – scent is foiled if it is spoilt for some reason, for instance if the scent crosses the line of other animals, a stream, strong smelling fertilizer or the petrol fumes from over-enthusiastic car followers (Bill Bowden)!

Hound – Hunting dogs are always referred to as hounds.

Lawn Meet – A meet taking place at a private house/pub by invitation of the owner.

Leash – three foxes

Line – The route along which the scent has been laid.

Meet – The Meet is where the Hunt and all followers collect before a day’s hunting. It can be a private house, farm a pub, village green, crossroads, or other suitably accessible place. See also Lawn Meet.

Meet Card – A list of Meets is drawn up before the season starts and is distributed to all subscribers.

Own – Hounds are said to own the line when they pick up a scent.

Point-to-Point – A significant part of the Hunt revenue comes from this event. The programme is organised and run by the Hunt, in conjunction with the Jockey Club, and entries come from riders both inside and outside the Hunt. It is a one-day social event, taking place on the late May bank holiday every year. Most Hunts have a permanent course which they may share with another Hunt to cut down costs. The races take place over stiff brush fences.

Rat-Catcher – Tweed jacket worn for Autumn Hunting and, depending on local tradition, again after the end of the Cheltenham Festival.

Rate – A huntsman or whipper-in rates a hound when it riots (speaks on something other than the true scent), or strays too far from the pack,. He will usually shout “leave it” or “git back to ‘im”, or some variant thereof.

Riot – When the hounds stray from the intended line.

Speak – Hounds speak, that is yelp in a manner peculiar to hounds, when on the scent of a trail. Also known as giving tongue or voice, and being in cry.

Stirrup Cup – A drink offered to members of the field at Lawn Meets.

Subs – The yearly subscription paid by members and subscribers of the Hunt.

Thank you and Good Night – the words the Master/Field Master and Hunt staff most like to hear at the end of the day. They put a great deal of effort into organising your day’s hunting and it’s good to know their efforts have been appreciated.

Tongue – See Speak.

Voice – See Speak.

Ware – The Huntsman and our Whips command call to warn hounds, e.g. “Ware Riot!”,(normally followed with ‘what are you doing’?, “Ware horse!” Short for beware and often pronounced ‘War’.


After all that, hunting with the South Tetcott is a fabulous experience and you will want to do it every day. See you out hunting.