Fox Hunting

Fox Hunting with a TerrierFox Hunting with a Terrier

From the 1500's, the sport of fox hunting grew out of necessity. At this time, Britain was overrun with foxes and other vermin which attacked livestock and poultry. Additionally, dens which were dug by vermin which lived underground were a hazard for horses and larger animals which could break a leg by stepping into these holes.

A Terrier manA Terrier man

Over the next three centuries, Fox Hunting developed into a sport in which terriers played an integral part. Accompanied by men on horseback with packs of hounds, the terrier would find the fox and bolt it out of its hiding place. Then the huntsmen and the hounds could continue to follow them. Contrary to popular belief, the huntsmen killed the fox far more often than the dogs.

The terrier worked in one of two ways:

  1. The long-legged terriers had legs of sufficient length to keep up with the hounds plus a front with a shortened humerus (or 'Terrier Front') so it could 'go to ground' or
  2. A smaller Terrier was carried to the scene of the hunt by a Terrier man who had large 'pockets' in his riding jacket in which the terrier traveled.