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A Kentucky Tradition
Iroquois is blessed with great hounds and hunt country and supportive landowners. This is a result of the diligence, skill and great leadership provided by the Joint-Masters. All their decisions are based upon extensive communication with landowners, hunt staff and members who expect them to do what is best for the club and the community as a whole. At the request of the Masters and Landowners, hunt members do not ride through the hunt country during the off-season, except on organized hunt club rides. This is as much a part of field etiquette, as all the careful observances carried out during hunt season.

Iroquois field members' main consideration in the hunt field is the safety of the hounds, horses and riders as well as respect for the land on which they ride. The most important thing to remember when hunting with Iroquois is that nothing is ever a hound's fault. It is up to the riders to give the hounds ample room to do their work and to make sure they never bring a horse out that will kick a hound. Fieldmembers always move aside when hounds are trying to catch up to the huntsman from behind, and they turn their horse's head to face the hounds as they go by. If a hound does get kicked by a horse, it is up to the fieldmembers to note the hound's color and sex, then report the incident to the fieldmaster so he or she can alert the hunt staff. That way, the hunt staff can check and make sure the hound does not need immediate medical attention. Each hound represents a significant financial investment to the hunt and all Iroquois members respect their value.

Iroquois Fieldmasters and Masters carefully monitor the safety of all riders and horses. There is both a non-jumping field and a jumping field so members and guests can choose the level most appropriate for their horse's ability. Both fields enjoy great sport and see a lot of houndwork thanks to the experienced fieldmasters who serve each hunt day.

The landowners have been very generous, allowing the hunt to put in many jumps and gates throughout the hunt country. Iroquois members in turn are vigilant about making sure gates are left just as they are found and livestock is not disturbed due to hunt activity. Jumps are kept in good condition, and easy to use kiwi latches are provided for each gate. Riders carry bailing twine just in case a gate latch is lost and it needs to remain closed. Hunt staff will report to the Masters if they see any livestock that is hurt or, for any reason, needs assistance from the owner. Masters will call the landowner and let them know about the problem.

About IHC Hunting - Field Etiquette

Field Etiquette
Cub Hunting begins around the first of October in the early morning. Formal Hunting usually begins the first weekend in November on the day of the Blessing of the Hounds. The fixture card will state specific day and time.

Coggins: Current negative Coggins test papers are required for every horse ridden in the field.

Qualified Field Hunter: A qualified Field Hunter is one which has been hunted at least 30% of a hunting season, demonstrates good manners and is an asset to the field. A qualified letter may be obtained from the Masters. (Not a requirement to hunt with the field, but should be the goal of every rider.) Arrival: Be on time and mounted before the appointed time. Make a point to speak to the Masters and staff.

Way of Going: Protecting the hunt country and safe hunting are of the utmost importance to the future of the hunt. With this in mind, the Masters offer these commandments for the care and nurturing of the Iroquois Hunt country:

Do not ride in paths or on dirt roads. Every hoof print is recorded for the farmers' inspection. Continual use of the paths leaves a permanent scar on the country.

Never cross a planted grain or tobacco field. Ride at the extreme outer edge.

Do not ride or jump across the "hunt country" on the way to the meet without specific permission from the Masters. Overuse of the farmer's land should be avoided.

Leave the gates open or shut, just as you found them. Replace bars over jumps in a secure manner. Report all problems with gates or jumps to the Masters. No more than two people should stay to close gates or put up the bar.

Do not ride downhill and across grazing land head to tail, one after another. Spread out whenever possible so no trail is cut through the land.

Staff and Hounds should be given right-of-way. If hounds or staff are passing you, turn your horse's head toward them so there is no danger of kicking them.

During hunting, be quiet so the Master and the Field can hear the hounds.

When hacking on roads, immediately make way for traffic. Be cordial to drivers and wave to anyone you come across.

When taking turns at a jump, be sure to leave the person in front "falling room". If a horse refuses a jump, take the horse to the back of the Field and go last over the jump. Do not attempt to school horses while horses are running. It is discourteous and delays the rest of the Field. Members on green horses should ride in the rear of the Field.

Early Departure: If you must leave before the completion of the hunt, seek permission to leave from the Field Master, and request instructions as to the best way to depart without disturbing the hunt.

Member's Horses: Horses should be well groomed with clean tack. It is important that members are mounted on a suitable horse that does not kick and is controllable. There is no excuse for not being able to hold one's horse. If a horse becomes fractious, unruly or can not be held, the member excuses himself from the Field. If the horse has a tendency to kick, tie a large red ribbon at the root of the horse's tail as a warning to those behind to keep out of range. All members are responsible for their mount's behavior, under any circumstance.

Grooms: Grooms should ride to the rear and do everything possible to assist the hunt. Grooms may ride only with permission of the Masters. Permission is granted on an annual basis. Grooms should be under regular employment by the members. Exceptions are granted by the Masters.

Guests: Members must call the Master no later than the evening before the hunt to seek permission to bring a guest. A capping fee is required, and the member should arrive very early to personally deliver the money to the Field Secretary and have the guest sign a waiver. The guest should also be introduced to the Master and the Field Master.

Cancellation of the Hunt: Hunts are canceled when there appears to be danger to horse, hounds, riders or the farmer's land. The decision to hunt, depending on ground and weather conditions, is made by the Masters as early as possible and usually before 10 a.m. of the hunt day. When a hunt has been canceled, the calling committee is then activated.

Hunting License: Every hunter is required to have a current Kentucky Hunting License on their person while hunting.

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 Iroquois Hunt Club - 2439 Grimes Mill Rd, Lexington, KY 40515 -- Contact Us