Fixing foxhunting vacations in England, we often find Americans picture crazy English aristocrats crashing through the countryside when we mention British foxhunting.
But hang on. Foxhunting is the same sport on both sides of the Atlantic, right? We share origins, clothing, even breeds of horses, so just how different can English hunting be?
A big contrast is the meet. Whilst American hospitality occurs after the sport, this party takes place beforehand. The customary eleven o'clock start means glasses of port and whisky and plenty of food. Riders finish hunting at different times, so now's a great time to socialise. At Blackthorn & Brook luxury vacations, we look after your whole hunting experience and part of that is introducing you to new companions in the field.
The English countryside is a long way from US hunt country. Think pretty villages and ancient estate landscapes. Land is mostly agricultural which means varied obstacles and plenty of contrast, but England's green and pleasant pastures can be decidedly labyrinthine. A good guide guarantees you won't miss its treasures or lose the hounds.
What you won't find are second 'flights' or hill-toppers. There are plenty of people who don't jump, but they don't organise themselves independently or have a separate field master. This can mean a more 'fend for yourself' feel and there's nothing like cutting across country by wit and dash alone. But it does help to follow someone with some local knowledge the first few times out.
Last but not least the English hunting field is a Who's Who of rural life. You can be elbow-to-elbow with farmer, stockbroker, teacher and belted earl all in the same run. Meeting people is a big part of foxhunting and a Blackthorn & Brook vacation. Whether sharing a companionable hipflask or a grand sporting dinner, we guarantee you a warm welcome to the hunting social scene.
So what about the mad Brits crashing cross country? The truth is that just as in the USA, good fun and good company are essential but safety is the top priority. We pride ourselves on great service, hospitality and sport, but our number one aim is to give you a safe day in the saddle.
Blackthorn & Brook arranges luxury foxhunting holidays in England. Visit www.blackthornandbrook.com to find out more.