Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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downton abbey2Lady Mary Crawley, ready for a day's hunting in Downton Abbey's concluding season

According to one of our experts, Downton Abbey’s costume designer got it right. But was it just by luck?

While the “correctness” of one’s foxhunting attire doesn’t help hounds one iota in giving us a good day’s hunting, it’s always fun to wrangle over what’s “correct” and what’s not. Especially when we see faux foxhunting scenes on the screen. So when I saw the images of Lady Mary Crawley and her father Robert, Earl of Grantham dressed to go hunting, I wondered why the costume designer hadn’t checked in with Foxhunting Life’s Panel of Experts first.

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# Devon Zebrovious 2015-09-29 09:29
Well, the designer may have been correct as to the collars, but in the (admittedly short and not easy to see everything) trailer and very few images there do appear to be some attire "issues" (velvet cuffs on the scarlet coat, the lack of hat cords on both, no garters on their boots, etc). ;)
# Ivey Sumrell 2015-09-29 09:30
I rather LIKE this collar shirt with the stock tie!!! I have to may not be so proper BUT I use a white turtle neck under my stock tie! As long as it is neat... who really cares??? I just MIGHT be tempted to "go Downton style" and try a collar shirt like this! Mary Crawley's character pulls off any fashion she wears... this would be true in any hunt field! The truth is most likely that is how we have pinque coats today!... someone followed a person of respect who looked good in his pinque coat... or MR. Pinque wore a red/or rose colored coat hunting once upon a millennium or two ago! Respect dictates most fashion... especially in the hunt field!
# Jane King 2015-09-29 10:53
I have a shadbelly coat that was willed to me from the Traders Point Hunt in Indiana. It belonged to Jacquie Kuhn. It has 2 color bands on the cuffs about 4 or 5 inches up.
# fran loftus 2015-09-29 21:40
Sometimes colors awarded to ladies are shown as bands on the sleeve just at or above the cuff, not on the collar; same with junior colors. Haven't seen that written anywhere but have seen it on coats in the US or Canada.
+1 # Gretchen Pelham 2015-10-01 09:39
Re the cuffs, once again Hugh Robards has an interesting observation!
"It is not uncommon," Hugh says. "His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales wore cuffs on his hunting livery.
The Staff and members of the South Pembrokeshire Foxhounds wear cuffs.
Also that flamboyant equestrian from Ireland Aidan O'Connell wears cuffs on his Swallow Tails!"
+2 # Derek French 2015-09-29 15:27
Notice the veil curled away above the brim of her bowler. I remember seeing ladies sporting veils in the past but do not recall seeing them much lately. Presumably they were designed to keep flying mud off well made-up faces. Today a mud splattered face is seen more as a mark of the keen and hard rider.
# Guest 2015-09-30 06:32
Lisa Andersen. My husband caught a glimpse of the photo in passing. Without even knowing the topic, his offhand comment was, "What? No hairnet?"
# Noel Mullins 2015-10-01 14:50
Just to add to the comment on Aidan O'Connell's hunting turnout. Aidan wears Hunting Tails, with Prince of Wales cuffs, and a Prussian Collar, as well as a Stock over Shirt, and Champagne Topped riding boots.

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Panel of Experts

Hugh Robards, ex-MFH

Huntsman, Author

Dr. Roger Scullin, MFH

Veterinarian, Foxhound Breeder

Jerry Miller, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder

Paul Striberry

Foxhunter, Horseman, Trainer

Nigel Peel, MFH (UK)

Hunstman, Breeder, Judge

C. Martin Wood III, MFH

MFHA President 1990-1993
Huntsman, Breeder, Judge

Steve Price

Author/Editor of 25 books, including The Whole Horse Catalog and 1001 Best Things Ever Said About Horses

C. Martin Scott, ex-MFH (UK)

Foxhound Breeder, Judge, Writer

marion thorne

Bill Gamble Photo

Marion Thorne, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder



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