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Hunting the “clean boot”

January 25, 2016
January 25, 2016 - Hunting the “clean boot”
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Sunday was a clear dry day for the 4 Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange in the spectacular Peak District countryside.

4 Shires BloodhoundsWe often have horses staying on holiday, but thankfully not quite so many at one time - it was a little chaotic in our yard as everyone was saddling up ready for the off and slurping the port.

the runner is chased by bloodhounds

The "quarry" getting his final instructions

Hunting the clean boot refers to the hounds working the natural scent of a human runner over a 12 to 20 mile course. This differs from a drag hunt where a very strong scent is laid which often means the hounds tend to race along at great speed. When following a human scent the hounds have to work the scent to distinguish it from other smells and are therefore slower. Once they get the scent they start singing - it’s an amazing sound to hear them in full cry.

The other advantage is that because the route is preplanned the hunt can avoid livestock, newly seeded fields or crops and the runner can adapt the route if he spots any unforeseen dangers.

The Four Shires Bloodhound Hunt covers the shires of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. It attracts riders of all abilities and ages and there is a second field for novices and less confident riders who prefer to take the course gently or avoid the jumps.

Bloodhound howling

Waiting for the off - when can we get going!

It really is a magnificent sight to watch with the horses, beautifully turned out, galloping across the farm after these large Bloodhounds in full cry as they pick up the scent of the human quarry. This year they brought out 17 couples (34 hounds) so as you can imagine The Master Huntsman, Chris Kane, had his hands full trying to keep them all in order!

The runner covered in mud

Not so clean boots now!

The hounds are bred for their agility, stamina and their "nose" and the term Bloodhound refers to their bloodlines not their taste for blood! When the hounds catch up with the runner he suffers nothing more than a few licks! However his boots are far from clean at the end of the day!

With our hilly terrain and a route of 15 miles or so  the runner has to be extremely fit to dash up such steep hills and down dales to avoid getting caught by the hounds in hot pursuit - no boring trips to the gym needed for him!

4 Shires Bloodhounds return home

All safely back home

A good day was had by all and you can see more photos on our Facebook page.

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  •   Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    7/28/2019

      We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    10/25/2019

      Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    7/16/2019
  •   What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    6/18/2019

      Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    9/14/2019

      Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    krimpenijssel
    10/25/2019
  •   We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    Big_Al_0000
    7/16/2019

      It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    ElizabethA717
    9/21/2019

      Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    7/04/2019
  •   lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    7/28/2019

      We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    6/04/2019

      We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    7/11/2019
  •   Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    Thesamps
    10/04/2019

      What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    6/13/2019

      We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    Tiggywinkle15
    11/05/2019
  •   We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    6/07/2019

      We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    9/15/2019

      Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    8/07/2019
  •   On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    6/25/2019

      We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    8/17/2019

      For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    6/25/2019
  •   Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    8/03/2019

      We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    9/17/2019

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