Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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qh hunter peter collins2Quorn huntsman Peter Collins rides a motorbike in the summer and wouldn’t dream of getting on without a proper safety helmet. He decided it was time to make a stand for mounted hunt staff, so he worked with Charles Owen to design the QH Hunter. The cap is available directly from the Quorn at £250.

Would you hunt in a safety helmet if it more nearly resembled the classic and traditional hunt cap? If so, maybe the new QH Hunter model will satisfy you. It satisfies Quorn huntsman Peter Collins, one of England's premier huntsmen. And it satisfies the Quorn Hunt, founded in 1698 and renowned for their uncompromising standard of sport, style, and turnout.

Years of technological development have been invested in safety helmets, and the benefits are well-proven. Yet, many professional huntsmen (and Masters as well) continue to shy away from replacing their traditional headwear. It’s understandable. Most manufacturers have given the foxhunting community—a small segment of their market—short shrift in choices of traditional-appearing hunt helmets. Charles Owen is one helmet manufacturer, however, that has worked with the Quorn at making safety headwear for foxhunters that looks as much as possible like the classic hunt cap.*

Quorn Honorary Secretary Peter Morritt writes, “Following some unfortunate high profile accidents and head injuries recently, our huntsman Peter Collins expressed an interest in seeing if we could develop a hat that would satisfy the traditionalists while incorporating the safety standards expected of modern headgear, so I approached Roy Burek, Managing Director at Charles Owen. Between us we developed a hat which meets safety standards VG1 and exceeds ASTM standard used in the USA.

“Collins wanted to come up with a safety helmet based on the traditional deep-crown hunting cap worn by many English hunt staff and subscribers. Major input for the design was from Collins. We spent a lot of time with Roy making many changes—all quite subtle—to make it similar in appearance to the traditional hunting cap.

“I did expect some opposition from the traditionalists but so far there has been none. Everyone knew that something should be done, but we were waiting for someone like Roy to become involved. We are very grateful for his expertise and willingness to listen to our thoughts."

The QH Hunter riding hat is available direct from the Quorn Hunt, either to purchase online via the Quorn Hunt website or by appointment at the Quorn Hunt Kennels. The standard colour is black. The price is £250 plus postage outside of England. Other colours are available by special order. It is expected that the hat will be available starting early September. Enquiries, please contact Peter Morritt, Honorary Secretary directly.

The Quorn Hunt, recognized as the oldest hunt in England, was founded in Leicestershire in 1698. It was under the Mastership of Hugo Meynell beginning in 1753 that the modern method of foxhunting was conceived and put into practice. In the open grasslands of Leicestershire, Meynell introduced and planted small wooded coverts where foxes would find refuge and thrive. With the introduction of the Enclosure Acts, as hedges were grown, cut, and laid to provide enclosures for livestock, the need to jump was added to the sport if one wanted to keep up with hounds. As a result, Hugo Meynell is often referred to as the Father of Foxhunting.

For a three-centuries-old hunt of the Quorn’s reputation for tradition, its acceptance of the safety helmet for its professional staff is another major step in helping to save staff members’ and Masters’ heads, even beyond the Quorn country, from serious injury.

Posted August 25, 2016

* Disclaimer: Charles Owen is one of Foxhunting Life’s paid advertisers. However, editorial space in Foxhunting Life is not for sale. This article is brought to our readers because, as Peter Morritt, honorary secretary of the Quorn said, “If one life changing injury can be prevented [the effort] has been a success.”

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