- Derek French, ex-MFH
I cannot recall an occasion when attending a meet with a fellow hunt where we have not been offered a stirrup cup to send us on our way. The stirrup cup is not only a long-standing tradition but has its purposes too. It is, of course, a welcoming gesture to all riders. But then if you are perhaps a little outside your comfort zone, riding an untried or borrowed horse in the company of hard-riding sportsmen in difficult country, one could almost call this small sip of liquid courage a necessity. Maybe you could go so far as to say just what the doctor ordered and your potential funeral director would advise! Even on the comfortable days when riding your own bombproof horse, the warm glow that the cup provides is reassuring. Your confidence is never in doubt, your companions become the best of pals and every upcoming jump seems to have had the top rail removed!