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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2007
    Posts
    570

    Default Earning Hunt Colors/Scarlet

    A couple of recent discussions, both real-life and on the H/J board here have given me questions that I would like answers to. As they have to do with Hunting and Hunting Appointments, you guys are the best place I know of to get the answers

    One of my life-time riding goals is (if feasable) to earn scarlet someday. I recognize that for some hunts scarlet is never worn by women and I'm okay with that. I am primarily a Jumper rider, though I dabble in the Hunter ring on occasion, and would love to be able to show in colors that I've earned as well as scarlet. I rarely see it done in the show ring, but on the few occasions that I've seen hunt-colors worn it has immediately given me an immense amount of respect for that rider as it represents (to me) an understanding of the origins of our sport.

    If you've got your Hunt Colors, how did you earn them? How long did it take? If you've been granted your scarlet coat, how did that come about? (I get the impression that scarlet coats are for staff only - are you MFH, a Secretary, a Whipper-in? How did you come in to the position?)

    On an additional related note - Over the years I've seen a few Juniors wearing scarlet and even though it's 'legal' it's always been quietly murmmered about and poo-pooh'd by onlookers - a bit like playing dress-up I suppose. What's the youngest person you've seen wearing hunt-colors/scarlet and if you know, how did they come in to it?

    Thanks much!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    958

    Default

    Scarlet coats are worn by gentlemen who have earned colors and MFH/huntsmen (in our hunt, regardless of gender, although this is perhaps controversial ??)

    Colors are earned by being a regular subscribing member for awhile and actively participating in all aspects of the hunt, ie hunting fairly often, bringing food, clearing trails, walking hounds, etc, etc, etc. It varies a great deal in different hunts. I got mine after about 2 years, and I have to say, it was really nice



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2006
    Location
    Hunt Valley, MD
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    There are a few hunts where ladies where scarlet as staff or master's. Staff referring to whips and huntsman. Secretary's are voluntary positions, and only when a Secretary, being male, in most all hunts, would they wear scarlet. There are also many hunts that don't allow ladies to wear scarlet period.

    Regarding showing. I have NEVER seen a lady wearing a scarlet coat in showing because of a earning colors with a hunt. The scarlet coats in showing, or so I thought, was for those who have earned it through the USET. Colors on other types of hunt coats in the show ring, are rare. I have only seen them when it was a hunt night, or had hunt specific classes.

    I earned my colors through my last hunt, it took a little over 2 years. I actually was a "junior" member when I was nominated for my colors by my hunt, but as a junior I was only eligible to wear buttons. Once I was "of age," I had to wait until I was out hunting on a day where we put a fox to ground, at which time, when the Master deemed, I was given a den. Not all hunts operate like this, but it was how my last hunt operated. Members were nominated for their time, dedication, and being full subscriber's to the hunt.

    A friend of mine wore colors when he was younger, 16-ish, but at the time he was staff and had legitimately earned his colors through hard work and being a member for SEVERAL years. He's the only person I have known to have earned colors and had scarlet as a junior.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2007
    Posts
    570

    Default

    Aha! This helps quite a bit! I was hoping it wasn't as long as a process as I'd imagined (visions of 7-10 years dancing in my head). Looks like it's time to find myself a hunt-suitable horse once my greenie sells and get started!

    The only references I can find to scarlet coats for show-hunters is that they are legal and if Juniors are going to wear brown-topped boots, they must wear scarlet coats. I've heard that USET awards them for representing the US in International competition - specifically the USET scarlets with blue collars. At shows, on the rare occasions that I've seen adults in scarlet they've been known Hunt members. The Juniors I've seen were in scarlet for the sake of fashion.

    Earning colors is on my goal-list and I'm glad it's attainable in the timeframe I was hoping



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2000
    Posts
    2,426

    Default

    For us, it is six years before being considered for Colors.

    Apparently I am wrong on one thing though. I thought when someone earned Colors that meant you changed the color of the collar trim on your black coat and added the boot tops. I always understood scarlett to be reserved for staff or MFH. It would seem that the field could get confusing if anyone with colors also wore scarlett in the field.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,424

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ef80 View Post
    Aha! This helps quite a bit! I was hoping it wasn't as long as a process as I'd imagined (visions of 7-10 years dancing in my head). Looks like it's time to find myself a hunt-suitable horse once my greenie sells and get started!

    Earning colors is on my goal-list and I'm glad it's attainable in the timeframe I was hoping

    It depends on the hunt. Earning colors in two years is unheard of in many hunts. In many hunts - a person isn't even eligible to be considered for colors for 3-5 years. I, for example, will never receive them no matter what I do or don't do.

    It's supposed to be an indication of a foxhunters knowledge of the fixtures, knowledge of hunting, commitment to the sport and the club - but most of all - knowledge of hunting with hounds. I guess some folks consider it an emblem of social distinction - but often proceed to demonstrate they don't know the first thing about hunting; nor do they care. It's quite annoying to those folks who are out there to watch and follow hounds as they work - not "to see and be seen".



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
    Posts
    6,479

    Default

    Amen JSwan. Well said. That problem seems to be endemic to hunting everywhere.
    As far as showing with colors, I just did it (again) two weeks ago. Some folks know what it is, others probably are just ignorant enough to think I'm showing in some old 80's blazer or something with a velvet collar. But it is correct to show with them.
    As far as scarlet, in our hunt it's only staff for several reasons, and I actually like it that way. Whips are more visible, and even guests know who the field master is. I have hunted in very large crowds where you had no idea who your field master was if you were a guest. If you are a male guest who is allowed to wear it, you may wear it with our hunt, however.
    Most hunts only men who have been awarded colors may wear scarlet and brown tops. Ladies with colors wear black coats and boots with patent tops.
    there is no set time limit for colors in our hunt, "Supposed" to be a minimum of two years, but that has been waived at the discretion of our Master for any variety of reasons. Our hunt is private so it's not a democracy
    I'm there to ride so I don't worry about it. I have my colors, I've been staff and had my scarlet coat, I just want to hunt.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2002
    Location
    malvern, PA, USA
    Posts
    342

    Default Who can wear scarlet to a hunt ball?

    so I always assumed the rules described above would follow, and only people who could wear scarlet (tails) to the hunt ball were male foxhunters with their colors, and the staff. but i see lots of men wearing scarlet tails at our ball and some of them don't even hunt! how does THAT work?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,424

    Default

    I have no idea - I'm usually pretty wasted by the free booze so I've never thought about it.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2006
    Location
    Hunt Valley, MD
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    Only men I've ever seen at hunt balls in scarlet tails are those that have colors with the hunt (including male staff and Master's) or are guests that are Master's of other hunts.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Colors

    Sometimes it depends on how much money you contribute. I know also know some hunts award colors to members that do not even ride in hunts but perform good service to the organization.

    Personally I feel that a member with colors:

    - Should be well versed in the details of foxhunting - the conduct, the hounds, the terminology. basic horn calls etc.

    - Has demonstrated proficiency in the hunt field - is a competent rider, demonstrates proper hunting etiquette, is attired apppropriately

    - Has contributed to the hunt with time, talent, money or all of those.

    - Is over the age of 21 ( some hunts also confer 'junior colors ' that expire when the person is old enough to qualify for ' real ' colors )

    - Has hunted enough to know the hunt country well and hopefully some of the landowners, knows where the hounds and riders are allowed and not allowed to ride.

    - Can be counted on to assist others in the hunt field with understanding the conduct of the hunt, safety issues or just helping a less experienced member back to the trailers.

    - Has demonstrated respect for the sport, the landowners, the quarry and conducts themselves appropriately as a lady or gentleman when representing the hunt.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Scarlet tails / hunt balls

    Quote Originally Posted by sporthorselover View Post
    so I always assumed the rules described above would follow, and only people who could wear scarlet (tails) to the hunt ball were male foxhunters with their colors, and the staff. but i see lots of men wearing scarlet tails at our ball and some of them don't even hunt! how does THAT work?
    Local custom applies - when you see ' Scarlet if convenient ' you have to interpret with local rules. Most men will not purchase scarlet tails if they do not have colors but you can rent them. A hunt should make it clear in its rules what is or is not appropriate.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
    Location
    Zone 3
    Posts
    730

    Default

    Most hunts have their own set of rules or the Master dictates who and when someone EARNS their colors. I have my colors and have for 34 yrs. I haven't hunted in about 5 yrs but that's because my show schedule has overlapped. We USED to have a show season and a hunting season. I am not supposed to wear a Pink coat because I was never staff. It is hard to stomach that someone who is hired as professional staff gets the whole outfit and colors privilege for life when they are merely employees for a season or so.
    Find out from your hunt who the recent recipients of colors are and what they did to deserve them. That s your ticket. It usually means hard work, time, and appropriate behavior in the hunt field. I was a member at the age of 5 ,hunted every yr, donated my time to the money making events the hunt sponsored, etc etc I got my colors when I was 22 which was very young for my hunt at the time.
    Now, no one take this personally but I think women look funny in Pink Coats with brown tops. I've just been around for decades and haven't made the mental change. I don't like the safety helmets in the show ring either. Not the safety....the look. WHOEVER invents a safety helmet that doesn't look like a alien cone-head will be RICH!!!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2007
    Location
    Northern New York
    Posts
    139

    Default

    Our hunt has specific written criteria for awarding of colors. You must be an active member (attending at least half the meets each season) for a minimum of four years. You must also contribute to the hunt in various ways... for examples trail clearing, hound walking, panel building, hound shows, hunt breakfasts, fund raisers etc. It's a plus if you help build membership by inviting cappers or speaking to local pony club or 4H groups to educate others about our hunt and foxhunting in general. Our club typically only awards a few people thier colors at the hunt ball annually. It's a well earned award!
    Staff with colors are permitted to wear scarlett regardless of gender with our hunt but some female staffers aka whippers-in and field masters may choose to not wear scarlett even though it's permitted. Gentlemen with colors only wear their scarlett coats when staffing. When riding in the field we wear black with our colors on the collar.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,178

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BridalBridle View Post
    It is hard to stomach that someone who is hired as professional staff gets the whole outfit and colors privilege for life when they are merely employees for a season or so.
    Professional staff gets no colors privilege for life in any hunt I'm familiar with. They wear the colors only while they are employed by the hunt.

    And for that matter, regular old members don't necessarily have privileges to wear colors for life, either, if they let their membership lapse or leave the hunt and join another hunt. But they are always entitled to wear the buttons- on a coat with a plain collar.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Location
    Lake County, IL
    Posts
    1,240

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ef80 View Post
    One of my life-time riding goals is (if feasable) to earn scarlet someday. I recognize that for some hunts scarlet is never worn by women and I'm okay with that. I am primarily a Jumper rider, though I dabble in the Hunter ring on occasion, and would love to be able to show in colors that I've earned as well as scarlet. I rarely see it done in the show ring, but on the few occasions that I've seen hunt-colors worn it has immediately given me an immense amount of respect for that rider as it represents (to me) an understanding of the origins of our sport.
    You are my twin! I am in the same frame of mind...one day I want to show in my hunt colors, with the horse I hunt. Currently, I have a retired A/O jumper that I hunt and show in the A/O hunter ring (18 yrs. makes them much calmer!). My vet has horses she hunts that are 23 yrs old, so she can keep my guy going!.



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