Since going online we have been able to reinforce our position as the primary global resource for all thing relating to hounds and hunting. We are always delighted to receive news and images from around the world from hunts both established and new, or from those that we have not featured before.
This consumption and publication of news and images is not just during the traditional seasons for particular hound packs but also during the social and competitive events that fill the months between one season and the next. The speed at which modern information traverses the globe means that we can feature news and images from North American hound shows within a day or two after gaining permission to publish it. However it must be remembered that regardless of the importance of the news or however impressive the image, it belongs to somebody else and we cannot bring it to you unless we are permitted to do so. Photographers and authors have used their skill to produce work for publication and they are entitled to the rewards their efforts bring.
In receiving images from North American packs we have noticed that one of the things they seem to do particularly well is to get and retain the interest of the young who are perhaps taking a look at hunting for the first time as a result of exposure at a Pony Club event, and then the hunt staff are able to channel this interest into activities such as preparing and showing hounds in a competitive environment against other handlers of a similar age.
This has two advantages – it teaches the next generation the importance of preparation before any public event and gets them involved in handling hounds in a public space.
I wonder whether packs of all types this side of the Atlantic are missing an opportunity here? By not providing a specific competitive route for the next generation to become involved with all elements of handling hounds unless they are fortunate enough to be part of a school pack, we may be limiting the skills that this generation can acquire. Such events are held regularly over the country as part of the “Dog show”” circuit some of which are even organised by the local pack as a hunt fundraiser and yet we do not allow the young the chance to compete against their peers demonstrating their skill at handling hounds.