Home Sports and Recreation The best hunting horse. Are they bred or made?

The best hunting horse. Are they bred or made?


Does the maxim still hold that the best hunting horse used to have the head of a Duchess and the bottom of a cook?

Widley’s Hedges in the Beaufort Saturday country are terrifying.

It used to be said that top-notch hunters had a ‘face like a Duchess, bottom like a cook’. The search for the very best hunting horse, can be the quest of a lifetime but when one does strike such equine gold, does it still confirm to these old maxim? If not, what should one look for?

A watercolour by Lionel Edwards depicts two of the best hunting horses, a grey and a bay, jumping a hairy-looking place with hounds far away in the distance. The grey is being ridden on a long rein and is obviously both taking care and looking ahead to where hounds are running. His big, intelligent ears are pricked, his eyes wide open. The bay has already landed well out and is about to gallop away. The rider has plenty in front of him, so reassuring when you land over a big fence. You can clearly see the horse’s strong hindquarters and his nice, short back. He has plenty of bone but is athletic, neat and not too big. There’s no way of telling which pack these two are out with or who they are but, whatever their breeding or their long-forgotten names, they…

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