Cottesmore Hunt

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Oakham Veterinary Hospital

Ashwell Road, OAKHAM - 01572 722647 (Equine)

Blackthorn injury in hunters / sport horses
Thorn penetration by blackthorn is a common injury in horses hunting over country with fields separated by hedges containing blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) bushes. This type of injury is treated at Oakham Veterinary Hospital on a regular basis throughout the hunting season due to our proximity to the Leicestershire packs. As a result, we have developed a huge amount of experience and a high level of expertise in the treatment of these injuries. Read more...


Dick Christian was the best known — and arguably the best — rough-rider (one who would ride any horse over any country) of the first half of the nineteenth century. He was born in Cottesmore and from around 1820 onwards was based in Melton. His career was documented by Henry Hall Dixon, better known by his pen-name of The Druid, although it is now believed that much of what Dixon wrote about Dick was local legend cleverly interwoven into Dick's own verbatim account. Dixon made little allusion to Dick's private life and subsequent writers have merely rehashed largely fictitious accounts. This deficit has been remedied by the brief biography that can be read or downloaded here. Dick's exploits were also mentioned in contemporary accounts by hunting writers, notably Nimrod (Charles James Apperley) in The Chace, the Turf and the Road. Nimrod's account of a hunt with the Quorn that went over the flooded river Whissendine (in Cottesmore country) contains the well-known comment: "Who is that under his horse in the brook?" .... "Only Dick Christian" answers Lord Forester "and it's nothing new to him". "But he'll be drowned" exclaims Lord Kinnaird. "I shouldn't wonder" observes Mr William Coke. "but the pace is to good to inquire".


You can pay online from this website or smartphone app* for most things provided by the CH. You can pay by credit or debit card or PayPal

PAY CH CAP (day's hunting)
Click here to pay. You will be offered:

  • a box for you to agree to the CH’s Disclaimer
  • a button for you to say if you are paying for a regular-rate cap or an MHC reduced-rate cap; if you click ‘MHC’, you will be asked for your CA membership number and the name of the hunt to which you subscribe
  • a box to specify the day and date you have booked to hunt and your mobile number (for a cancellation)
  • a box to collect the booking reference number: when you book a reduced-rate cap via MHC you will be given one
  • a box for the amount you need to pay

Click here to pay. You will be offered:

  • a list of coming events for which you can pay online (a few events may have their own payment arrangements). For equestrian events a box appears for you to agree to the CH’s Disclaimer
  • a Short Description box for you to provide any additional information
  • a box for the amount you need to pay

Payment of CH subscriptions must be made by bank transfer, standing order or cheque

* Android phones/tablets only


Welcome to the Cottesmore Hunt’s website. Within our site you will find the history of the Hunt and its supporters club, an account of the breeding and bloodlines of our famous hounds, a description of our country (the area we cover) with an interactive map highlighting points of interest, details of the different subscription packages, calendars for our future social events, a list of what we currently have on sale in our memorabilia shop and details of how to get in touch with us. There are also details of (or links to) our other related activities such as point-to-point racing, Pony Club and the Hedge-cutting Society. We also — as you will have seen — carry advertisements. Please give your business to our advertisers: help them to help us.

The government ban in February 2005 led to some changes in the way hounds are permitted to hunt while remaining within the law, but although second-best to traditional foxhunting, excellent sport is still possible using a combination of laid trails and flushing to a bird of prey for the bird itself then to hunt.
"For the truest sport, the straightest foxes, for perfection of country, for long runs and fast runs, commend us to the wild pastures of the Cottesmore. A wide spread region scarcely inhabited; ground that carries a scent in all weathers; woodlands which breed a travelling race; and mile upon mile of untracked grass, where a fox will meet nothing more terrifying than a bullock — no wonder, then, the finest runs of the season are with the Cottesmore; that more hard riders and grand horses are present when Ranksboro' is drawn then are ever mustered elsewhere; or that the Punchbowl and Stapleford are names to make us stir in our chairs..."
So said Edward Pennell-Elmhirst ("Brooksby") in 1882. Those familiar with the area will realise that the country has changed a bit since then. But the Cottesmore's famous hounds have more than kept pace with these changes: they are lighter and more athletic than their forebears and are better able to follow a weak artificially-laid scent amid exhaust fumes and the distractions of modern agriculture.

From 1666* until 2005, the Cottesmore (say ‘Cotsmore’**) had hunted foxes with hounds in and around the ancient English county of Rutland. In spite of the construction of Cottesmore airfield in 1935, the completion of Rutland Water reservoir in 1978 which removed 3100 acres (1255 hectares) of hunting country, widespread national hunt saboteur activity in the late 1980s and the 2004 Hunting Act, the Cottesmore continues to flourish, hunting within the law. Its country converges with that of its neighbours the Quorn and the Belvoir (Duke of Rutland’s Hounds) in the Leicestershire market town of Melton Mowbray which in its heyday was a magnet for foxhunters worldwide and now has the UK's only foxhunting museum.

*   - this date is traditional but apocryphal; no documentary evidence for it has been found
** - from Cott's Moor

350 years and still going strong. For’ard on!