By Norman Fine
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The Hubertus Hunt steeplechase race in the Dyrehaven park near Copenhagen has been held annually since 1900. The roots of the race go back to the 1680s, however.
At that time, King Christian V designed a network of tracks in the park to afford him an overview of the progress of the Royal Danish Hunts, a popular past-time for the nobles. Dyerhaven served for centuries as the center for the hunts. Today, the quarry is symbolized by fox brushes attached to the tails of two of the horses in the race.
This year, 30,000 spectators watched the 160 riders race over the eleven-kilometer course negotiating thirty-two obstacles and finishing with an eight hundred-meter dash to the finish. Crown Princess Mary presented the trophy to the winner.
The riders’ attire is described as the traditional Danish costume of red and white. However, it looks suspiciously akin to the scarlet coats and white britches of eighteenth century England. If that truly represents the hunting attire which the Danish foxhunters of the 1600s were clad, we are forced to rethink our foxhunting history!
Posted November 9, 2017