Duke of Beaufort's Hunt

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The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt (the Beaufort) is one of the oldest and largest of the fox hunting packs in England. It was founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682 and continues under the auspices of this family.[1]

The Beaufort hunts some 760 square miles (2,000 km2) in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, centred on the Duke's estate at Badminton.[1] Hunting occurs on about 125 days per year, usually 4 days a week during the main season,[1] and 5 during Autumn Hunting.[2] The pack is seen as one of Britain's premier foxhound packs, and is reckoned to hunt over some of the best country for fox-hunting in the UK.[3]

Hounds have been kept at the Badminton Estate since 1640, and have primarily hunted foxes since 1762.[4] Every Duke since the title was created in 1682 has been Master or Joint-Master of the pack.

The current Joint-Master is Captain Ian Farquhar.[5]

Legal background[edit]

Although "hunting wild mammals with a dog" was made unlawful in England and Wales by the Hunting Act 2004, which came into effect in 2005,[6] the Beaufort Hunt continues to meet to hunt within the law.[7] A number of exemptions stated in Schedule 1 of the 2004 Act permit some previously unusual forms of hunting wild mammals with dogs to continue, such as "hunting... for the purpose of enabling a bird of prey to hunt the wild mammal".[8] Trail hunting and mounted exercising of hounds are both unaffected by the Act and consequently are favoured by many hunts in the UK. In 2005 the Beaufort changed its rules to hunt within the law.[9]

Further reading[edit]


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