Thursday, October 11, 2012

Of Fall and Foxhunting

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I love fall.  Cubbing season starts.  The fall indoor horse shows take place.  Thanksgiving. Christmas is just around the corner. That nip in the air exudes a certain energy that disappears in winter.

"Cubbing season" is a fox hunting term - the time generally between Labor Day and Thanksgiving in which hunts "cub" - an informal hunt if you will, which allows the horses and hounds to get fit before the real season begins.  When you go cubbing you wear more informal hunting attire mostly tweed jackets.  You also see brown field boots on riders in lieu of the more formal black boots.

I love cubbing attire and think you can easily translate this traditional dress into your every day wardrobe.

According to the Masters of Foxhounds Association, here is what considered acceptable attire for cubbing season:

Informal attire: The cubbing season or Autumn hunting allows for less formal attire called "ratcatcher". Ratcatcher normally refers to a dark sport coat or hacking jacket and a shirt and tie or turtle neck shirt. In warmer climates coats are not required.
Cub hunting also is the period when horses and hounds are conditioned and trained. At the same time, the foxes learn to evade hounds and become conditioned and smarter by being chased for longer periods of time as the season progresses. During cub hunting hounds are hunted only long enough to assure they are hunting the proper game. They are not kept out for long. 

Can't you see the influence this attire has had on fashion? Ralph Lauren?  Barbour? Tommy Hifinger?  I'm sure there are many others. (photo is from Pininterest, girls at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, VA - not sure of the date, 60's maybe?)

This jacket is timeless.  But I still love it.

And while I don't hunt anymore, I love everything associated with foxhunting (except for killing the fox).

All photos are from Pininterest.  Happy Thursday!


  1. I don't understand the current fashion for wearing hacking jackets with the sleeves pushed up.

    Ralph is pretty good with this, and I wear hacking jackets for street clothes whether they're in fashion or not.

    One of the differences between the knock-off hacking jackets and the real thing is that the knock-offs are too short. Cute, yes, but not every woman is flattered by having a jacket that displays her backside. The genuine article is longer so it covers the butt. It also has a center vent or two side vents so it will go over the cantle of the saddle, and a real button hole at the throat with a button on the opposite lapel so it can be folded across one's chest during horrible weather.

  2. Look at those old jodhpurs in the Foxcroft photo--yikes!! My thighs wouldn't stand that now. Perfect cub hunting weather here in Virginia--enjoy your day!


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