Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
Sunday was a clear dry day for the 4 Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange in the spectacular Peak District countryside.
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.
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 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!
A good day was had by all and you can see more photos on our Facebook page.
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