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SOUTHDOWN & ERIDGE
HUNT

The hunt was formed in 1981 by the amalgamation of the Southdown Hunt and the Eridge Hunt.

Since 18th February 2005 the Southdown & Eridge Hunt has adapted to operate within the law and restrictions of the Hunting Act 2004, maintaining the tradition of a mounted and foot followers meet with hounds then hunting pre-laid artificial trails or lines, allowing followers to watch the hounds working. The hunt is also permitted to hunt rabbits, providing a valuable service to their landowners.

During the course of each hunting day we combine activities to provide a varied and unpredictable day for our followers.

The Police are aware of our activities.

The hunt meets regularly during open season with children's meets during school holidays.

The Southdown & Eridge Hunt also support local rural community events, takes part in educational activities, organises hunt rides that are open to all and continue to support local farmers with their fallen stock and bereavement services.

The Southdown & Eridge Hunt kennels are located in Ringmer, East Sussex. Near to the South Downs with country covering part of East Sussex and West Kent.

We welcome visitors and supporters, mounted or on foot. Mounted followers should make prior arrangements with the Honorary Secretary ~ sandehunt@hotmail.co.uk

Hound Sponsorship

For just £20 (£30 for two) Hunt followers can sponsor one of the hounds for the season.

Contact the Southdown Supporters Club to apply ~ 

southdownseh@btinternet.com

You may choose your hound and will then be able to enjoy following them throughout the season, as well as receiving a Christmas card with a photo and progress report on your hound.

Hunt rides

Run most weekends throughout the summer hunt rides are open to everyone. Ride are led by a Master across some of our glorious country thanks to our incredibly generous landowners. Many include a halfway house refreshment stop. 

Details are posted on our Facebook page and are bookable in advance.

Mini Hunt Club

The Mini Hunt Club welcomes children of all ages and abilities to come and have fun and to enjoy a variety of activities including hunt rides, xc practice,  jumping/pole clinics, meet the hounds and informative talks to learn the etiquette of the countryside whilst making lasting friendships.

We also have our 'Gold Membership' for those who would like to come out hunting. Click here for an application form.

Tumblers Club

To join this exclusive club all you need to do is part company with your steed at any meet during this season, from Opening meet to Closing meet.

 

The fine is £5 per fall and ALL proceeds go to the amazing Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in the hope we never need to call on their services.

 

There is a prize at the end of the season to the greatest contributor and also the most stylish dismount!

Fallen Stock & Equine Bereavement Services

Fallen stock and equine bereavement services are provided by our experienced team with understanding
and to the highest APHA approved standards.
Please contact the Kennels for further information, prices and to discuss your requirements on
07753 825793
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fallen-stock

About

The Southdown & Eridge Hunt Country

The Southdown & Eridge Hunt is located in south east England with the kennels situated in Ringmer,

East Sussex.
 

The country lies between the Cuckmere River to the east and the Adur River to the West. The northern boundary runs from Henfield, Hickstead and along the A272. At the A272 in Maresfield, the country extends north and east through Ashdown Forest to Withyham, Tunbridge Wells and Hurst Green. The southern boundary is the English Channel.

The country is split into two distinct territories. The south and west incorporates the South Downs, which are open chalkland with Hunt jumps. Coverts are thick gorse, runs long and viewing panoramic. Some arable land on the Downs is being returned to grassland. The east side is flat and wooded weald, with many new Hunt jumps.

Adjacent hunts to the Southdown & Eridge are as follows:
 

 

Subscribing to Southdown & Eridge Hunt

We have a variety of options available to people wishing to hunt with us.

For more info please contact the Hon. Secretary ~ sandehunt@hotmail.co.uk

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Supporters Clubs

Supporters' Clubs

Supporters' Clubs are an important component of any hunt.  

There are two supporters clubs reflecting the geography and history of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt's country:

Southdown & Eridge Supporters' Club and ESRM Supporters' Club.  

This means that there are two teams working to support the Hunt.  The teams meet locally, so it's easy to be involved, and build relationships with local supporters and the community.

Both have their own committees, but work co-operatively with each other, particularly in ensuring a spread of activities across all of the hunt's country and the calendar.  

A wide range of events are organised aimed at meeting everyone's interests, from quiz nights to show jumping shows, barbecues, suppers, dog walks, Christmas markets and charity rides to name but a few. Hopefully something for everyone, but if you have new ideas they're always enthusiastically welcomed.  

Not only do the Supporters' clubs undertake essential fundraising for the hunt but they also proactively support trail hunting with hounds and in organising social events bring together the hunting and country sports communities.  

Funds raised over recent years have contributed to the costs of horses, vehicles, property including kennel improvements and much more.

A number of events also raise funds for various local charities.

Both our clubs have a strong and loyal membership from both the mounted and foot following fields, as well as those that are for whatever reason no longer able to follow but want to keep in touch.

All followers of the hunt are encouraged to take up membership of one of the Supporters' Clubs.

Membership is essential for keeping up to date with hunt information.

For further information on joining a Supporters' club please e mail - 

Southdown & Eridge Supporters' club ~ southdownseh@btinternet.com


 

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Please fill in the form, SAVE & return to the membership secretary.

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What's on

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Charity Ride - Northease Farm

Date for 2025 TBC
Northease Farm, Rodmell. Lewes. BN7 3EX
Start times 9am ~ 12.30pm

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Charity Ride - Glynde

Saturday 31st August 2024

Great Farm, Glynde. BN8 6TB

Start times 9am ~ 12.30pm

Golden Cross Showjumping
Sunday 12th January 2025 

Team relays, Gate jumping and Showjumping.

Schedule and booking details will be posted nearer the time.

Merchandise

A large range of SEH merchandise including children's items.

Full details will be available shortly but if you would like information/to order anything in the meantime please email southdownseh@btinternet.com

Great quality items at reasonable prices and you'll be supporting SEH too.

We understand how disappointing it is if your order doesn't fit. The clothing sizes are generally true to size but if your order doesn't fit please contact Judy Chandler ~ southdownseh@btinternet.com who will organise an exchange for the correct size.

The following items are available from Judy Chandler, Lisa Wright or Sharon McDonnell, see them at meets/rides/events or contact at ~ southdownseh@btinternet.com

Beautiful Quality, Bone China Mugs.
Just the job for that well earned cuppa and ideal present.

Quality bone china SEH hunt mugs £6.50 each, 4 for £25 or 6 for £35 plus postage at cost.​

Tie in both adult and child lengths ~ £15

Travel Mug ~ £8

To order e mail ~

southdownseh@btinternet.com

Gallery

Photos with thanks from ARW Photography ~ arwphotography.co.uk

Merchandise
Gallery
FAQ

FAQ's

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I'D LIKE TO START HUNTING BUT DON'T KNOW WHO TO ASK OR WHAT TO DO?
If you don't know anyone connected with the hunt then the best person to call is one of the Joint Hunt Secretaries, and they will be happy to chat with you about what you need to do.

I AM NOT SURE IF MY HORSE WILL TAKE TO HUNTING. HOW DO I FIND OUT?
Horses often behave differently when in a group and are generally more excitable. If you have been on fun rides or similar with lots of other horses, and your horse has behaved well then you should be okay.

I DON'T OWN A BLACK COAT OR HUNTING STOCK SO WHAT DO I WEAR?
That's fine. If you have a hacking jacket then wear that with a shirt and tie. During Autumn hunting (September and October) we all wear tweed with a shirt and tie, and our horses are not plaited. During the Open Season (November to March) a black/navy coat and white stock is correct, and your horse should be plaited. It is important to be smartly turned out. Ladies please wear a hairnet and if you hair is long, tie it back! Also you should leave your ear rings at home! 

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I ARRIVE AT THE MEET?
It is always best to arrive in plenty of time and it is suggested you arrive about 45 minutes before the scheduled start time. Upon arrival, leave your horse in its trailer/lorry, and go and ask for the Hunt Secretary or Master. Introduce yourself, smile, and you will guarantee a warm welcome in return! 

DO I HAVE TO PAY TO GO HUNTING?
Yes, you will need to pay the price previously agreed with the Hunt Secretary. You can pay by bank transfer, cash or cheque. Money is collected at the start of the day, possibly once you are mounted, by the Secretary.

MY HORSE AND I ARE USED TO JUMPING IN AN ARENA SO IS IT THE SAME OUT HUNTING?
The answer to this is usually no! Hunting can involve jumping out of or into uneven ground and sometimes over obstacles that are a little uneven in their structure. Obstacles may be rails, hedges (sometimes with ditches on one side), hedges with rails, and tiger traps. The ground might be muddy or wet too. Sometimes the ground on the landing side of the jump is lower than the ground on the take off side. This means that your jumping needs to be more "defensive", so after take off, allow the reins to slip as your horse reaches for the landing and be ready to sit up and often back, possibly with your legs forward ready to regain your seat upon landing.

I'D LIKE TO JUMP BUT ARE THE STORIES ABOUT BIG HEDGES TRUE?
When you arrange your day, chat with the Hunt Secretary about your jumping ability.  They will be able to advise you which day(s) might be best for you. We have big days and small days and there is generally a good day for all jumping abilities.

DO I HAVE TO JUMP EVERYTHING?
Unless the day is advertised as having a non-jumping route (and we do have days like this) then you should generally expect to jump most obstacles. It is the case that we do cover areas where once we have jumped into a field or a wood (for example), the only way out is over a jump.

WHO SHOULD I FOLLOW ONCE WE SET OFF?
The Field Master is in charge of organising the day and leading the field.  This is usually the Master who has given the speech at the meet.  It is correct to stay behind the Field Master during the day's hunting unless directed otherwise.  There may also be other Masters out on the day and priority should be given to them unless otherwise advised. If your horse is new, young or inexperienced it is best to stay at the back of the field until it becomes more experienced. You can then see what everyone else is doing and be guided by others as the day progresses. Importantly, you can see others jump in front of you and watch their style, and get ideas about how to (and how not to!) approach the jump.

WHAT WILL THE DAY BE LIKE IN TERMS OF RIDING AND JUMPING ETC?
All days vary but we normally set off at a fairly energetic pace, often hacking for some distance, following the hounds. There is often some early jumping, with cantering across fields and through woods. There may be periods where we are standing around, and this provides a good opportunity to watch hounds and make new friends.

WHAT IF MY HORSE REFUSES TO JUMP?
Very few horses jump everything first time, every time. If your horse refuses, let the people behind carry on past, tuck in behind and have another go. Most horses will jump if following another. The important thing is don't worry about it. Someone will help you.

WILL I FALL OFF AND WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO?
Everyone falls off (including the Masters!) at some point and if you are new to hunting then you might. Do not worry if you do, as someone will help you. If your horse canters off, then it will be caught and brought back to you. Take your time to get your breath and get remounted. The field won't be far away and they will know you need a little time to catch up. By the way, you will be asked to donate £5 to the Tumble Tally for each fall! 

CAN I GO HOME EARLY OR DO I HAVE TO STAY UNTIL THE END?
It is not unusual for some people to pack up before the end of the day. Horses might be tired or people may feel they have done enough for one day. If you need to pack up early, then it is important that you tell the Master or Hunt Secretary so they know you are safely on your way home. Do thank the Master as you depart, as that will be appreciated.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AT THE END OF THE HUNTING DAY?
At the end of the day the Huntsman will gather the hounds and usually "blow for home". This means the hunting day is over and everyone hacks back to the meet together. It is traditional to thank the Master before you leave and this might be best done before you turn your attention to getting your horse ready for home. Remember that your horse will probably be very muddy, sweaty, tired and hungry at the end of the day so come prepared to wash him down, rug him, and provide a hay net for the journey home. The end of the day is quite sociable, especially if the meet is at a pub, and you will have an opportunity to chat with others and plan your next hunting day!


HUNTING ETIQUETTE

There are proper conventions and etiquette that participants are expected to follow. Any unsafe, rude or unsportsmanlike conduct will be addressed by the Master up to and including removal of a rider from the field. The Master is the final authority in the field, any requests by the Master must be followed immediately and without discussion. 

BEFORE THE HUNT

  • Be prompt 

  • When arriving at the meet, introduce your friends to the Honorary Secretary, pay the cap (if applicable), and then go to the Master(s) for an introduction.

  • Greet the huntsman while he or she is gathering hounds and greet the Field Master before he or she gathers the field. Thank them both before the end of the day.

  • Your horse and tack must be clean and neat and in good repair.

  • You should be clean and neat as well. Do not wear anything that could get caught on trees or other obstacles and cause injury to you or your horse.

  • If you choose to ride in the 'First Flight Field', please maintain the pace of the Field Master. Those who wish to pick and chose their jumps should ride at the back of the First Flight.

  • When jumping, don't approach the take-off area until the preceding horse and rider have taken the jump safely and advanced three or four strides.

  • If your horse refuses to jump, try once again. If it refuses on the second attempt, go to the back of the field. Never go around a fence as it is being jumped.

  • In the course of a refusal, don't allow your horse to run into a cropped field. Remain in the rear of the jumping field until you are confident your horse will not refuse again.

  • Any non-riding members are always welcome and encouraged to follow the hunt by car or on foot, with supervision or after discussing proper protocol.

 

CONDUCT IN THE FIELD

  • The Master, hunt staff and hounds should be given the right of way at all times. Always turn your horse so that its head is facing hounds, Master or staff as they pass.

  • Stay behind your Field Master at all times and follow his or her line. Never pass the Master or ride an alternate route without his or her permission. If he or she crosses a field by hugging the edge, do likewise. Keep up with the Field Master, since leaving large gaps can interfere with the day’s sport.

  • However, if a hound comes in between horses or you see that a hound will be coming close to other horses let others know by calling "hound(s) please" to alert members to give the hound the right of way. If the hound does not appear to be in a position to encounter the horses, no call is necessary.

  • If you see a danger to another rider, such as a hole or a low tree branch you should call out "Ware hole" or "Ware branch".

  • If a Whipper-in or the huntsman is coming up from ahead or behind and will need to pass through the field of riders, let others know by calling "Whip please" or "Hunt please". ALWAYS turn your horses head toward the rider so as to prevent your horse from kicking out as it passes.

  • If your horse has a tendency to kick, put a red ribbon on its tail. This warning symbol does not relieve you from the primary responsibility of keeping the mount at a safe distance from others. Horses that kick should be ridden in the back of the field, even when a red ribbon is worn.

  • If you get lost or separated from the hunt, go directly to the nearest public road. Stay on the public roadways until you are able to rejoin the field.

  • Do not ride over crops, and keep off all seeded fields. Close any gates you open. Do not close any gate you find open. If you take a rail down, put it back. Leave everything as you found it.

  • Members of the field waive all claims against landowners for injuries to themselves or their mounts. If there is an injury a few members of the field may volunteer or be designated by the Field Master to stay with the injured party and coordinate any needed help. The rest of the field should follow the Field Master and continue hunting.


​On non-hunting days and off-season

  • When a hunt has been given the privilege of riding over a landowner’s property, it does not mean that members of that hunt or anyone else have the right to trespass without specific permission from the landowner, the appointed agent, tenant or farmer, whether hacking on non-hunting days, going to a meet or not keeping up or returning from a hunt. Always be conscious of ground conditions and do not ride across land where conditions are poor.

  • Be courteous and friendly to the public. A smile, wave of the hand or tipping one’s cap does wonders for the good of our sport. Do not impede traffic while on your horse. Public relations are everyone’s responsibility.

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