Our happy hounds
Our Kennels are at Kimblewick, near Aylesbury and visitors are always welcome. The Kennels are run by the Kennel Huntsman, who is assisted by the Countryman. Stud grooms are responsible for the horses.
Brand new kennels
The Kennels were redesigned in 2017 in a major rebuild of the site and now they are considered amongst the finest kennels in the country.
Hounds live in groups in yards, or lodges, which provide them with an indoor resting area and a yard which is both under cover and outside. In the warm weather they love nothing more than to stretch out and soak up the sun! They sleep on thick straw beds on raised platforms, and are often in contact with a neighbouring hound.
Daily exercise and professional care
Daily exercise consists of a long walk first thing in the summer months, with the Huntsman and Kennel Huntsman either walking with the hounds or riding bicycles, and often a spell in the large grass yard later in the day to romp and play. As the season approaches their exercise increases in intensity, much like getting a horse fit. This hardens their feet and increases their lung capacity ready for the Autumn Training when they are taught to find and follow an artificial trail.
Over the course of a busy day the hounds may run 40 miles or more, so wellness and fitness are a priority. The breeding programme takes stamina and hunting ability into account, with both bitches and doghounds selected for the future of the pack. Some of the hounds' pedigrees can be traced back for many years and are all recorded in the Foxhound Stud Book, as is every litter of foxhounds born in the country. Each hound is named using the mothers' first one or two letters of her name ie Pageant's litter are called Peanut, Pedlar etc and Dancer's litter has Dandy and Daffodil.
Hounds are not bought or sold, but drafted (given) to a pack which may suit it's hunting ability better. For example, a hound that proves to be interested in deer may be given to a stag hound pack.
The Huntsman and Whipper-In of the Kimblewick Hunt wear a tawny yellow-coloured livery. This is quite unusual as staff with most other hunts wear a red coat (although some wear green or other colours) and it is a tradition that harks back many years and has remained constant despite a variety of hunt mergers and splits along the way.
The Hunt staff wear five brass buttons on their tawny yellow coats, mahogany tops on their boots and they carry white hunting whips. An amateur whipper-in is usually a subscriber who helps hunt staff with their job, and may wear a red or black coat.
Hunt staff, Masters and officials are the only people who may wear a traditional velvet hunting cap with the ribbon tails left free. This is so they may be identified from behind. Anyone else who wears a velvet cap should sew up the tails of the ribbon.