Foxhunting is rigidly conventional. It is a ceremony enjoyed by participants and spectators. Attention is given to attire out of respect for tradition, safety, comfort, and practicability. Riders must also bring a valid negative Coggins and carry their hunting license. The following is a summary of the attire for to the Farmington Hunt:
The term "ratcatcher" applies to the least formal attire permitted in the Field, to be worn during cub hunting season (from Labor Day to Opening Meet) and on informal days during the regular hunting season (Thursday meets prior to January 1st; Tuesday and Thursday meets after January 1st). Ratcatcher attire may be worn on formal days by Juniors.
Coat: A tweed or wool coat in muted colors (no red), tailored and vented, is appropriate. In warm weather, at the discretion of the Masters, coats may be waived.
Vest: A canary or tattersall vest is optional.
Shirt: During Cub Hunting season, solid polo shirts or turtleneck (other than red), tucked in, are permissible if coats are excused. With a coat, acceptable attire includes a riding shirt with choker (for ladies), necktie (both) or stock (both). FHC also allows turtlenecks with no additional neckwear, although this is not necessarily acceptable at other hunts so should be avoided when visiting other hunts.
Stock: A stock tie in a conservative plaid or coordinating color may be worn with a ratcatcher shirt and vest or coat. Below is a diagram demonstrating how to tie a stock tie.
Headgear: A black or brown hunting cap is required, and the Masters of Farmington strongly recommend a hunting cap with harness. Juniors must wear a hunting cap with harness.
Breeches: Any earth tone color of breeches or jodhpurs are allowed but tan and rust are preferred.
Boots: Boots must be clean and polished. They can be either brown or black leather, and may be dress (without laces) or field (with laces). Half chaps are acceptable if they resemble tall boots and are worn with polished paddock boots of the same color. Rubber boots are acceptable, as are canvas-topped (Newmarket) boots. Jodhpur boots worn with Jodhpur pants may be worn by Juniors.
Hunt Whip: A regulation hunting whip is optional for those with colors. Thong and lash may be removed during cub hunting. A short plain-colored riding crop is also optional.
Belt, Spurs, Gloves, Raincoat, Stock Pin, Hairnet, Wire Cutters: Same as for Formal Hunting.
Opening Hunt (near the end of October) is when formal dress is required for all Saturday and Tuesday meets (prior to January 1) and all Saturday meets (after January 1).
Coat: Gentlemen without colors should wear a plain black hunting coat or frock coat. Ladies without colors should wear a plain hunting coat or frock coat, preferably in black or navy. The coats must have three plain black (or matching) front buttons. Frock coats (which have a seam at the waist) have two additional buttons on the back. Ladies (but not gentlemen) awarded colors may add Belgian Blue to coat collars, and buttons can be changed to black engraved FHC buttons. Gentlemen awarded colors and gentleman Masters may wear scarlet (frock) coats with Hunt collar and brass buttons. It is not appropriate to wear colors while visiting another Hunt without prior approval from that Hunt’s MFH. You should keep your coat buttoned at all times.
Vest: Vests are optional and should be canary, tattersall or “Belgian Blue” for members with their colors.
Stock: A white stock tie is required for formal hunting. See diagram above for tying instructions or have an experienced Hunt member tie it for you.
Headgear: A hunting cap is required, either black or navy (for ladies) A Bowler or Top Hat should only be worn with the corresponding hunt attire. The Masters of the Farmington Hunt strongly recommend a hunting cap with harness. Juniors must wear a hunting cap with harness.
Breeches: Gentlemen without colors wear tan and lady members wear buff, tan or canary breeches. Gentlemen with colors may wear white breeches.
Belt: A belt is recommended, as it can be used as equipment in an emergency, i.e., a broken stirrup or as a sling.
Boots: Boots must be clean and polished. Plain black boots with or without black patent leather tops (sewn on) should be worn with black hunting coats. Gentlemen with colors wearing frock coats (black or scarlet) should add russet leather tops to their boots (sewn on). In wet weather, one may wear French rubber boots which look like leather boots (although this may not be allowable if visiting another hunt).
Spurs: Spurs are optional. They must be heavy and blunt, without rowels or chains and set high on the boot below the ankle and with spur arms parallel to the ground. The straps must be the same color as the boots.
Gloves: Gloves are optional. For dry weather, these should be brown, tan or black leather. In wet weather, white wool or cotton string gloves are allowed.
Raincoat: Raincoats should be used sparingly and be of muted colors (brown, black or dark green). Look to your Master(s) for guidance. When visiting another Hunt, ask your host what is proper.
Stock Pin: Plain gold stock pins are proper for both sexes. These should be attached horizontally to the stock tie. Stock pins with the Farmington Hunt logo are optional for those who have been awarded colors. FHC also allows ornamental stock pins, but this may not be acceptable at other hunts.
Hunt Whip: A regulation hunting whip is optional for those with colors. A short plain colored riding crop is also optional.
Hair Net: Hair should be neatly confined with a hair net for ladies. Long hair should first be tucked under the helmet or in a bun.
Flask and Sandwich Case: A pocket flask is optional. Gentlemen may carry a flask or sandwich case (or both) attached to the saddle, and lady members may carry either a sandwich case or a combination flask and sandwich case attached to the saddle. (Be prepared to share!)
Wire Cutters: Only Staff are authorized to use wire cutters during a hunt.
The Awarding of Colors
The privilege of wearing the colors and buttons of the Hunt is awarded at the discretion of the Masters. Those awarded colors exhibit knowledge of the sport, its protocol and Hunt territory. Members with colors have the privilege of riding in the front of the field. Farmington colors are awarded at the Thanksgiving meet.