They come to the estate for weekend. The leaders—the master, huntsman and whippers-in—dressed in pink coats known as “pinques," with their hunt’s colors on their collars and brass buttons. Nestled under this is a white cravat and on top, black velvet hats. Prestigious guests don black, gray or navy fitted frock coats, tan riding pants with knee patches and top hats (women wear black velvet caps, if they so choose). They mount horses, black boots etched with patent leather trim in stirrups, crops (whips) in hand, o civilized, so upper class.
Other followers wear black coats with top hats or bowlers. More helpers, including grooms with relief horses and “stoppers" who close up the fox dens, make up the entourage. In the early morning, the stopper covers up the holes of the fox dens to prevent the nocturnal animals from returning.
About 11 a.m., the master issues a command and the 40 or 50 yapping hounds sniff out the covert (pronounced “cover")—a field or patch of woodland—where foxes nest and seek refuge.
When a fox is found, the dogs bleat their delight, and flush them out. A horn is sounded and the master shouts, “Tally-ho!" and the hunt begins. They gallop across country at top speed, splash through rivers and dash across fields. When a fox is spied, a high-pitched “Holla" follows.
If a kill is made, the bushy tail, head (mask) and pads (feet) are presented as trophies to whomever the master determines. Then the body of the fox is thrown to the hounds to devour. A child riding in his first hunt might be “blooded" by being smeared with the blood of the dead fox kill.
The season typically began the first Monday in November, although, September was special for “cub hunting"—a sort of training for inexperienced riders. The event was thought of as manly, patriotic and good fun.