What is Drag Hunting?
Nothing chased, nothing caught!
The sport of Drag Hunting is the challenge of following hounds across country on horseback with lots of fences to jump on the way. Hounds follow a scent laid by a runner dragging a bag soaked in ‘the smell’. The scent is artificial and is made from a mixture of water, oil and perfume - all of which is purchased from our local Tesco!
The Staff College Drag Hunt is based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Camberley. During the autumn & winter season, we hunt every Sunday and occasional Wednesdays in the beautiful countryside of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.
"Hold Them Back Rammer!"
Painting of the Staff College Drag Hunt by Snaffles
A long and proud military history
For the soldier, the relatively short amount of time needed for drag hunting and the intensity of excitement had a very special appeal. A number of military drag hunt packs were founded from 1861onwards.
The Staff College Drag was formed in 1869 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. Such was the enthusiasm for drag hunting within the military that after the second-world-war some regiments stationed in Germany and Italy maintained their own packs of drag hounds.
Drag Hunting Today
A modern and progressive hunt
Today the Staff College Drag Hunt is a thriving community. We pride ourselves on being very friendly and welcoming. Everyone is invited to join us, no matter what their age or level of hunting experience. We particularly welcome children and parents, and those who have never hunted before - come and join in the fun!
We also have a large number of non-riding members of the drag hunt - our 'foot-followers' - who come along to watch, support, (laugh?) and enjoy the spectacle of the day. Everyone is welcome!
We have a full diary year round. This includes the dates of all our drag hunting days and also our social events to which everyone is invited.
The most important event is the Farmers’ Dinner held at the end of the Season. The Drag Hunt’s first Farmers’ Dinner was held in 1924. This is our opportunity to thank our farmers and landowners for allowing us to cross their land. Without their support, there would be no drag hunting.
And, of course, every hunt must have a Hunt Ball. This is a splendid occasion for hunting friends from far and wide to party.
A vibrant Hunt Supporters’ Club is vital to the fundraising and social life of the Drag Hunt. Riders and non-riders, family and friends are welcome to join. The HSC organises hugely popular fun rides which are open to the general riding community. Clay pigeon shoots, quizzes, race evenings and informal pub socials add to the fun.