Saturday, 1 November 2008

St Hubert's Hunt

For the Brits, this kind of 'hunt' is nothing like you might imagine. Here it's another of those typically laid-back Czech occasions for a fun afternoon out.
In the stunning setting of the Cerveny Dvur parkland, on a lovely Autumn day, today's programme consisted of an easy but entertaining parcour in front of our audience,
followed by a 'hunt' where we raced off, following the 'fox' through the hectares and hectares of the park, weaving fast through the magical landscape of majestic, ancient trees. Meanwhile the audience, not able to watch the horses, entertained itself by campfires and songs to guitars.
Lastly, and again for the audience's benefit, we did a relay race, and then a final blast of a mad gallop to capture the prize of a fox tail pinned high up in the finishing arch.
The prize fox tail did go to our stable, but that was the part of the event that perhaps received the least notice. Because the Czechs just love any excuse for being outdoors, really. Competition? Ambition? Forget it. Who cares who 'wins', the main thing is the sun's shining, families and friends get to meet up, and everyone's having a good time.

As I was riding, I couldn't take any photos, so I begged a few from the onlookers. I might get some more - meanwhile this as a taster.


Philip Wilkinson said...

Meanwhile, here in the Cotswolds, the members of the local hunt led their mounts into vast horse transporters or smaller horse boxes and drove up narrow lanes into the middle of nowhere, followed by dozens of 'followers', mostly driving very large 4 x 4s, to start their 'chase'. I'm not sure WHAT they chase these days (I just got caught up in their traffic when taking a local shortcut), but it certainly is a major operation demanding much diesel.

salamander said...

Indeed. While I think the local laid-back version lacks in spectacular jumps and pomp, here we have (as you can see from the photos)ordinary people who don't care about dressing up and all the trimmings: low key, low maintenance, low mileage, but high on enjoyment.
Thanks for the comment :-)