Welcome to the Staff College Drag Hunt!
Please use the menu to have a look around our website.
If you have any questions, please contact our friendly Drag Hunt Secretary
You can also find us on Facebook & Instagram by clicking here:
Covid-19 Secure Guidelines ***PLEASE READ***
Mounted and non-mounted followers must follow this behaviour protocol which is based on requirements issued by the Hunting Office and MDBA*
All riders MUST book in with the Hunt Secretary Jess NO LATER than 4pm on the Friday preceding a Sunday meet and 4pm on the Monday preceding a Wednesday meet.
All bookings must be accompanied by bank transfer payment. Riders will be sent bank details when they book in. Payment must also be received by the 4pm deadline.
Before attending a meet, all followers must undertake a self-assessment for any Covid-19 symptoms. Do NOT leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19.
Riders living or keeping horses within a local lockdown area must not come out.
Riders may bring ONE helper but must retain their contact details for track and trace purposes.
All foot and car followers will be asked to provide their names and contact details for track and trace purposes to a Covid Compliance Officer.
All followers both mounted and on foot must respect social distancing guidance at all times.
All followers mounted and on foot must be dispersed from one another. Groups of up to SIX MAXIMUM may form (maintaining 2m spacings within, unless from the same household). These groups must be clearly distinct from one another. At no point must people gather in groups of more than six.
Please pay particular attention to avoiding any congestion or congregation in gateways or on tracks and roads.
Please wash your hands before leaving home and sanitise your hands regularly throughout the day.
All followers both mounted and on foot should carry a mask and hand sanitiser in case they need to assist someone in an emergency.
Food and drink brought from home must not be shared with others.
Followers should not engage with hunt saboteurs in any way.
*The Hunting Office is the executive arm of the governing bodies for Hunting with Hounds in the UK. The Staff College Drag Hunt is a member of the MDBA (Masters of Drag Hounds and Blood Hounds Association).
Covid-19 Update: Drag Hunting Can Continue
In the light of the recent government announcements regarding social gatherings of more than six people, the Hunting Office and MDBA (Masters of Drag Hounds and Blood Hounds Association) have re-examined the guidance about hunting activities and how they operate.
Social gatherings of more than six people will be against the law from Monday 14 September 2020. However, organised activities which have received guidance from their governing bodies and have protocols in place are able to continue.
Hound exercise and drag hunting are organised activities and we have received revised advice and guidelines from the Hunting Office and the MDBA on how to operate in a Covid 19-secure manner. We therefore confirm that our hound exercise and drag hunting activities can continue.
It's that time of the year again when we turn our attention to getting our hunters fit and ready for the coming season. Hound exercise is the perfect way to do this and is also great for newcomers to introduce their horse to hounds in a more sedate environment.
If you are interested in joining us for some pre-season mounted hound exercise, click here for more details:
Huge congratulations to Bex Hathaway-White and Stuart Bruce who were awarded their Hunt Button by the Masters at last night's awards evening.
An enormous amount of work goes into running the Drag Hunt throughout the year, not just on hunting days. For this, we rely on people volunteering their free time to help out at events. Members of the field are awarded their 'Hunt Button' for consistently going 'above and beyond' in their service to the Hunt. This means that they may wear a green collar on their hunt coat and their buttons are printed with the insignia of the Drag Hunt. It is a way for the Masters to formally recognising the time and effort that they have put in.
Thank you Stuart and Bex, you are an asset to our Hunt and your contribution is very much appreciated!
Catherine Ingleby Prize Draw
***CONGRATULATIONS NICOLA CHALK!***
A huge WELL DONE to Nicky Chalk who had the winning ticket for our Catherine Ingleby - Art Prize Draw. Nicky wins a personal commissioned portrait of her horse or dog by professional artist Catherine.
Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and a special thank you to Catherine for offering such a fantastic prize.
If you'd like to take a look at Catherine's work, you can visit her website here:
Thanks to everyone who came to our Hunter's Challenge on 16th August 2020 and a huge thank you to our kind sponsors for this event: Little Red PR, Ellie Osborne Photography, Eira's Equestrian Extras & The Sussex Riding School. Here are the results from each class:
60cm - kindly sponsored by Ellie Osborne Photography
1st Isabel Wilson
2nd Emma Manngan
3rd Lottie Crocker
4th Gemma Beckett
5th Jaime Mangan
6th Rebecca Noone
70cm - kindly sponsored by Eira's Equestrian Extras
1st Lucy Prendergast
2nd Nelle Cromack
3rd Kay Briggs
4th Julia Hoskins
5th Catherine Hiley
6th Charlotte Hardman
80cm - kindly sponsored by The Sussex Riding School
1st Juliet Pascall
2nd Nelle Cromack
3rd Lucy Prendergast
4th Pandora Dabliz
5th Taymar Townsend
6th Barnaby Calthorpe
90cm Team Relay - kindly sponsored by Little Red PR
1st New Forest Hunt Stockley Team
2nd New Forest Hunt Ipley Team
3rd Home Team
4th Hares Hooligans
5th Beauties And The Beast
6th Hungerford Hunters
If you haven't already purchased your photos of your moment of glory, they can be found here:
Teddy Bear Adventure!
Thanks to all the mini fun riders who joined us for the Teddy Bear Adventure on 9th August 2020. There were lots of smiling children and happy ponies searching for the teddy bear scenes around the ride, tackling the handy pony course and saying hi to our resident unicorns.
Special thanks to Brewer Chandler for hosting our event and to the Chandler children for creating such a fantastic handy pony course. Thanks also to all our wonderful helpers who gave up their Sunday to steward the course - we love you! And last, but not least, thanks to Bex Hathaway-White for coordinating and running the day.
Don't forget to check out the Forthcoming Events page of our website to find details of all the fun things that we are running over the Summer months, for example a Hunter's Challenge competition with a £500 prize fund, hedge jumping and side saddle clinics...and our ever popular Minley Fun Ride!
Welcome to the 2020/2021 season!
The 1st May 2020 marks the start of the new Drag Hunting season and we have much to look forward to! We have two new additions to the Mastership - Jayne Chewter and Captain Daniel Gregory. We are also delighted to announce Vic Ruffy is also joining the team as a Director. A warm welcome to all three!
Subscriptions for the new season are now due and new for this season, we are also offering a non-riding subscription for those who enjoy regularly following the Hunt. Please see the Subscriptions & Cap page of the website for details of prices and how to pay. Please contact Jess our Hunt Sec if you have any questions
So what does your subscription pay for? Staff College Drag Hunt is a 'not for profits' limited company run by a team of unpaid volunteers and ALL money raised from subscriptions (and other fundraisers) goes into running the Hunt - for example - feeding the hounds, employing Stephen our Huntsman, running the kennels and building and maintaining the fences for you all to enjoy jumping over on a day out in our wonderful country. We also have a policy of 'everybody pays' in this Hunt, which means that all of the Masters, leadership team and Hunt Sec pay a subscription the same as everybody else. We all believe that our Hunt is something worth investing in and have enjoyed watching it go from strength to strength over the last couple of years.
Despite everything that the 2019/2020 season threw at us (weather, equine herpes, Covid19), Staff College Drag Hunt continues to thrive and we are super excited about the new season. We have you, our wonderful supporters, to thank for that and now can't wait until the Opening Meet!
End Of Season Awards
Thank you to everyone who Drag Hunted with us during the 2019/2020 season. Here are the winners of the End Of Season Awards as chosen by our joint Masters Ash Hambridge, Caroline Bullen and Johnny Hathaway-White.
***WINNER - TUMBLERS' CUP ***
There are always a large number of contenders for this award and we thank everyone who has drag hunted, and face-planted from their horse, this season!
The winner is the faller that the Masters felt provided the most stylish slither to the ground after coming unseated over the smallest of fences...which made it even funnier. So it gives us great pleasure to award the 2019/2020 Tumblers' Cup to Duncan Green for his fall at Moundsmere. As you can see from the photos, Duncan provided Ellie Osborne with the opportunity to capture the perfect sequence, and he also looked rather pleased with himself afterwards! Huge congratulation to Duncan and thanks for always being such a good sport!
***WINNER - MASTERS' CUP ***
This award is for the horse that the Masters would most like to take for a day's drag hunting. The Masters have been carefully casting their eyes over the field this past season and looking out for the horse that always gives their rider a super day out and puts the biggest of smiles on their rider's face.
The decision on the winner was unanimous - the Masters have chosen Welly Dabliz as the worthy recipient of the Masters' Cup. Congratulations Welly and the Dabliz family - what a fabulous horse!
***WINNER - BEST TURNED OUT ***
This award is for the person who always makes 100% effort to look their best on a day out with us. Being correctly attired on a clean, plaited horse is of the utmost importance when Drag Hunting - it is a sign of respect to the landowners and farmers who's land we are very privileged to cross and it upholds the traditions of our military affiliated pack. Thank you to everyone who makes the effort week in, week out - we know all too well the joys (!) of bathing horses in the winter months and cleaning mud splattered tack and riding kit.
There were several strong contenders this year, but the Masters are delighted to announce that they have chosen Leah Hayden as the winner of the Best Turned Out Award. Leah is always looks fantastic, with not a hair out of place, a perfectly tied stock and polished boots. She drag hunts on a whiter-than-white pony who sports the most beautiful, neat plaits in both his mane and tail. Once, she even had to re-do some plaits that Dad Peter had put in as they were not up to her high standards! Well done for keeping him in line Leah!
***WINNER - BEST HUNT TEA ***
The tea we offer our followers after a day's Drag Hunting is a well known feature of coming out with our pack. Visitors are always amazed and delighted with the spread. A huge thank you to everyone who has made Hunt Tea this season, and thanks to Siobhan Brookman for coordinating the tea rota. It is a sign of how cohesive our hunting community is that we all come together for a chat and a debrief at the end of the day, rather than all disappearing off our separate ways. Long may it last!
So it was a difficult decision for the Masters to decide on the Best Hunt Tea award, but after much deliberation, Caroline Bullen, Johnny Hathaway-White & Ash Hambridge are delighted to announce that they have chosen Katy & Sarah Hayward as the winners of the Best Hunt Tea Award. Katy and Sarah made the most delicious and hearty stew for riders and followers to enjoy, and everyone who tasted it said it was fantastic! Thank you and well done Team Hayward!
***WINNER - BEST CAKES ***
The Masters are delighted to announce that they have chosen Brewer Chandler as the winner of the Best Cakes Award. Brewer provided an epic spread of delicious cakes for the Lead Rein Meet and the Minley Meet, and also always stuffs everyone full of cake when she kindly hosts a Meet on her land. Thank you and well done Brewer!
Welcome to the world, puppies!
We are very excited to announce a litter of whelps who arrived on 4th April 2020. Huntsman Stephen Hall chose Lavender (bitch hound) and Danger (dog hound) as the parents and they have produced this beautiful litter of pups who are all doing well. We hope you'll enjoy watching them grow and join the rest of our pack when they are older to develop their future Drag Hunting skills!
Hunt Ball 2020 - Thanks For Coming!
Friday 17th January 2020 saw us celebrate 150 years of the Staff College Drag Hunt in true glitz-and-glam style at our annual Hunt Ball, held at The Elvetham Hotel.
As usual, the organisers surpassed themselves as guests were treated to fabulous food and wine, dancing into the small hours, heads & tails, horn-blowing and a rendition of the Post Horn Gallop! Not to mention a raffle with wonderful prizes, a surf simulator and a shooting gallery! Phew - no wonder there were a few sore heads the next day.
For the full round up of fun and frolics go to the Hunt Ball page here:
On Sunday 10th November 2019, we held a special Remembrance Day Meet at Moundsmere Estate. The Meet was well attended with over 50 riders, including a large military contingent on this special day. Before we set off, we observed two minutes silence to honour the fallen. Horses and riders then enjoyed riding around the beautiful estate in the sunshine, cantering round the headlands and hopping over the hedges. The final line finished with a rather poignent cavalry charge up the last field, led by Major JJ Hathaway-White MDH.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morningWe will remember them.”
Celebrating 150 Years!
The 2019/2020 season is our Drag Hunt's 150th year and as part of marking this momentous occasion, we are changing our name back to the original name of our pack. The Staff College Drag was formed in 1870 by officers of the Staff College along with staff and cadets of Sandhurst. The fun was furious and the sport exhilarating. At Sandhurst, the Drag was considered to be ‘quite the most important part of the curriculum’. Rumour had it that those who did not go hard with the Drag stood little chance of a staff job. So to mark our 150th year, we feel it is a fitting tribute to once again be called the "Staff College Drag Hunt".
The name change was first announced to our loyal Subscribers at our Subscribers' Dinner on 11th October 2019. Everyone enjoyed a fabulous white tie dinner in the Former Army Staff College at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
And then we spread the good news at our Opening Meet on 13th Ocotber 2019! The Four Seasons Hotel, Dogmerfield, kindly welcomed us back for another year to kick off our season in great style. Over 100 horses and riders joined us for a wonderful day crossing the beautiful Hampshire countryside and jumping the famous Swan's Farm hedges.
Summer Show & Inter-Hunt Relay
We had a whale of a time over the August Bank Holiday weekend running our Summer Show, Inter-Hunt Relay and various displays at Wellington Country Fair and Horse Trials.
Sunday saw an army of beautifully presented horses and riders turn out for our Summer Show. There were 19 classes over 3 rings, including Working Hunter plus various Ridden and In Hand classes and associated Championships. Most classes were qualifiers for Royal London Show and we also ran a group of Equifest qualifiers - it was lovely to see grinning competitors leaving the ring clutching their beautiful rosettes and qualification cards. Our generous sponsors also provided some fabulous prizes to the winners of each class - thank you to all the companies that supported our show.
On Monday, 20 teams from Hunts, Riding Clubs and Pony Clubs across the country came together to battle it out in our Inter-Hunt Relay for the spectacular first prize of £1000! Huge thanks to Little Red Rooster PR for sponsoring the relay. It was a tightly fought contest, but the overall winners were the New Forest Hunt (Team Ipley) consisting of Tristan Ingram on Salsa, Alisha Coombes on Peaches, Lucy Fairman on Custard & Nicola Denness on Dollar. Well done!
Throughout the weekend we also paraded our Hounds and ran Side Saddle and Skill At Arms displays and demonstartions, plus a Chase-Me-Charlie competition - all of which drew large crowds and were enjoyed by everyone.
As always, these events only run so successfully due to our wonderful team of helpers who give up their free time to muck in. We couldn't do it without you - THANK YOU to everyone who helped!
Festival Of Hunting, July 2019
Report by Johnny Hathaway-White MDH
Our pack entered hounds at the Lycetts Festival of Hunting again this year, the summer's premier gathering of hounds of all varieties. The Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association show was well attended, and the standard of hounds was high. It was reassuring to see.
Excellent work with hounds by Stephen Hall in preparation for our own hound show paid off in the ring at Peterborough, where he was ably supported by Mandy and Ben Hall. All three immaculately turned out, and brilliantly professional. Harry Denovan was a huge help behind the scenes on the day, and the team worked really hard in stifling conditions.
The hard work paid off with great results, which bodes well for future days in the field and shows on the flags.
-Tenant took third in the unentered dog hound.
-Status was pipped to the top spot in a very close split judges' decision to take second in the unentered dog class.
-Textile got a third in the entered dog.
-In the entered bitches we took second and third with Tender and Daydream, respectively.
-We then put this same dream-team into the couples, where they took second place, again on a split decision.
Hounds showed really well in hot conditions (so hot that static judging was done on the grass, not the flags, as they'd become too hot! As you may have seen and heard, the whole lot was topped off by a splendid (and slightly boozey) picnic! Perfect!
Hound Show and Kennels Open Day, July 2019
We had over 100 people attend our annual Hound Show and Kennels Open Day on 14th July. The Hunt Supporters' Club had pulled out all the stops in organising such a great day. Adults & children enjoyed browsing a range of stalls, a raffle, a bouncey castle, face painting, pony rides, a fun dog show and hound racing. A delicious afternoon tea was served featuring the cakes from our cake baking competition, won by Katherine Marshall with her wonderful raspberry muffins! All this ran alongside the main event, the Hound Show, with our hounds kindly judge by visiting Master of the South Downs Bloodhounds - Jeremy Whaley MBH. Jeremy cast a close and expert eye over the hounds on show, and decided that our Champion Hound was Strident, with Tender running a close second. Tender then put in her own winning performance by storming to victory in the hound racing.
Congratulations to all the winners in our Fun Dog Show:
Best Terrier - Sonny with Havoc
Best Gun Dog - Stuart with Jack
Best Any Other Breed - Jackie with Fergus
Waggiest Tail - Siobhan with Lulu
Prettiest Bitch - Daniel with Inca
Most Handsome Dog - Jason with Rex
With Best In Show going to Daniel with Inca!
Heritage Day, RMA, June 2019
We had a fantastic time taking part in Heritage Day on 16th June 2019. We paraded our hounds, led by Huntsman Stephen Hall, followed by a hound meet & greet for onlookers. We then gave a Draghunting demonstration with runner Stuart Bruce laying a line which the hounds hunted, hotly pursued by Huntsman, whips, and a small field led side-saddle by Caroline Bullen MDH. The final part of the afternoon was an exciting gate jumping competition where we were represented by Rebecca Hardman, Sarah Elliott, Perdy Dabliz & Katya Browne. Thanks to everyone who came along to support and help, and to Johnny Hathaway-White MDH for co-ordinating the day and providing excellent and informative commentary on the proceedings!
Royal Windsor Fun Ride 2019
What a fantastic couple of days at the Royal Windsor Fun Ride! Huge thanks to everyone ‘behind the scenes’ without whom this ride could not go ahead. Thank you to Amanda Stewart & her team for their top organisational skills, to our fence builders for the fabulous selection of jumps that the riders enjoyed and last but not least - to everyone who gave up their free time to steward the ride. We couldn’t have done it without you! The result of all the effort? 650 smiling riders having a great time in the beautiful setting of Windsor Great Park.
For more info on our Fun Rides, click here: