A new hat, The QH Hunter, designed by the Quorn Hunt and Charles Owen, is bringing safety to the hunting field. An article about the hat appears in the current Countryside Alliance magazine, and you can read that here 20-21 approved Quorn Hat
An excerpt of the article explains the thinking behind the hat: Tradition dies very hard on the hunting fields in Leicestershire. It is a strength that has maintained Britain’s hunts in fine heart and good fettle since the restrictions of the 2004 Hunting Act. Part of this tradition is to maintain the highest standards of dress and turnout, a mark of respect to the farmers and landowners who allow the hunt access to their land. But another element of tradition has come under scrutiny. The top hats, bowler hats and traditional hunting caps that are donned for a day in the field offer very little head protection in the event of a fall when following hounds. The Quorn Hunt is regarded as one of the premier hunts in the country, if not the world. It was founded by in 1696 by Mr Thomas Boothby of Tooley Park, Leicestershire, and has a colourful and sporting history.
This bastion of hunting tradition has recently been involved in a major initiative to encourage the hunting fraternity to think again before they don traditional hunting headwear, and instead consider changing to modern protective headwear. The reason behind the initiative was the tragic death of a well-known, local subscriber in a hunting accident. Peter Collins, who has been the Quorn’s professional huntsman for 14 years, was asked by his eight-year-old son, “Is your hat safe, Daddy?” As a result of the innocent question Peter C. decided to discuss his concerns with the former honorary secretary of the Quorn, Peter Morritt. “The Quorn Hunt, the committee and officers, felt very strongly that they had a duty of care to provide the best possible headwear for their staff,” explains Peter M. “The best way for this to happen was to set an example, and to encourage others to do so by setting a practical example”.
So armed with the idea of a safer sort of hat for the hunting field Peter M. raised the issue with Charles Owen, one of the major manufacturers of riding hats. The firm is acknowledged as being at the forefront of improving safety standards so it was an ideal fit for the hunt looking for a modern solution. Technical expertise is all very well, but for the hat to hold sway when seen following hounds it was crucial that it looked the part, too. Luckily, Peter was on hand to provide extensive design input. The result is a brand new riding hat, called the QH Hunter. It is BSI kite marked with chin harness and has been modelled on the traditional deep crown cap favoured by most huntsmen, masters and subscribers.
The hat is manufactured to the highest standard and is available in black, navy, grey or brown velvet at a cost of £250. It is available to order from the Quorn Hunt, either directly online via the Quorn Hunt website or fittings may be arranged by appointment at the Quorn Hunt kennels – www.quorn-hunt.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)1162 596694