Welcome to The Hamilton Bloodhounds homepage. We are a pack of bloodhounds based at Easton in Suffolk, and are registered with the Masters of Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association. Bloodhounding is a recognised form of equestrian activity, which is quite distinct from all other types of hunting. Bloodhounds are tracking hounds, who hunt the ‘clean boot’, that is to say, they follow the natural scent of a human runner (not a dragged artificial scent). They have a strong and tenacious tracking instinct, and an extraordinarily keen sense of smell (the keenest of any other dog breed), which enables them accurately to follow a human trail over long distances, even one that is several days old.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming group. We aim to give everyone – young and old – an enjoyable and exhilarating day’s riding over the glorious East Anglian countryside, with the thrill of following a working pack of hounds, all doing what they know and love best: tracking our quarry!
A meet typically begins with our runners spending some time with the hounds, so that the hounds can get thoroughly acquainted with their scent. The runners then set off along a line which is agreed in advance with the landowner or farmer (although they often put in twists and turns to challenge the hounds and huntsman!). Once the runners have got well away, the hounds, under the charge of the huntsman and whippers-in, set off in pursuit, followed by the mounted field of riders. The hounds follow the runners by their scent alone. To hear the distinctive deep-chested ‘roooooo’ of a bloodhound pack in full cry is a thrilling and moving experience. At some point – usually the end of the line – the hounds catch up with the runners. They then lick the runners excitedly, and receive lavish praise and treats as a reward. Each line is between 2 and 4 miles or so, and the chase can last up to 30 minutes. Up to our Opening Meet in early November, there are usually two or three lines, and from then on, there are generally three or four, or sometimes even five.
Bloodhounds are tremendously social animals, and absolutely love humans. Please do drop by our Kennels and meet our pack. They’d be thrilled to see you. So would we. Even better, please come to one of our meets and watch the action, or take part, as a rider or runner. We generally meet twice a week – on Wednesdays and Sundays – from early September right through to the end of March. We very much hope to see you there.
For further information about us and our forthcoming activities, please visit our Facebook page. Below is a section of our most recent posts.