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Discuss Rat Catcher at the Horse Chat forum - Horse Forums.

OK, so all hunters (or anyone else who knows the answer)...I need help! Why on ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ ~*GOJUMP*~'s Avatar
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    Jul 2007

    Rat Catcher

    OK, so all hunters (or anyone else who knows the answer)...I need help!

    Why on EARTH do we call our collars Rat Catchers? Obviously this goes back to a long time ago when hunter/jumper was Fox Hunting. But i need more than that! This has been bugging me for such a longgg time! lol!

    Sorry, this was WAY random, but it's been driving me crazy! haha
    Never, never, never quit. -Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ ~*GOJUMP*~'s Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    yeah, ok, bump???!!!
    Never, never, never quit. -Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    I don't know about the name, but did you know the stock tie was originally intended for use to bandage broken and maimed limbs in the event of an accident while fox hunting!?

  4. #4

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    Jan 2008
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    See....to me a "rat catcher" is my Mamma Kitty, or my Jakers cat or any of the other barn cats I own.

    I did used to know why they are rat catcher but will have to ask my mother who is 90 years young and used to foxhunt as a young girl in England.

  5. #5
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    I *think*, and I could certainly be completely wrong, but I've always been under the impression that the entire show shirt was called the ratcatcher. I'm not certain as to why, but I will try to find out .

  6. #6
    Senior Member+ Custom Made's Avatar
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    i have always wondered this same question!!
    Something Wicked (Breyer). JH Delta Blues (JP).
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  7. #7
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    Beautiful Black Hills of Dakota
    The shirt is the 'ratchatcher'. It lacks the pointed collar normally seen on button shirts so that a stock tie could be worn in comfort while hunting. A stock was worn so that it could be used as a bandage for human and/or horse. Chockers are often worn in showing in place of the stock tie.

  8. #8
    Senior Member+ Preppy_Ponies's Avatar
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    So. Cal
    The term "ratcatcher" refers to the whole shirt.

    Okay so I remember being told that the reason behind the name "ratcatcher" was that way back when this kind of collar would keep things from falling down your shirt while foxhunting. Several different people over the years have said that the collar would specifically keep rats from falling down your shirt! Not saying that any of that is true just what several trainers/pros told me many years ago

  9. #9
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    Fox Glove's Avatar
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    Ratcatcher actually referrs to the attire itself.

    It comes from what the "ratchatcher" or "terrier man" wore. He was more than likey a Crofter and followed the Hunt across his feild. When a fox went to ground the terrier man, would send his terrier into the covert to kill the fox.

    We wear ratcatcher here during cubbing season, some hunts in the UK and other parts of the world the feild is permitted to wear ratcatcher all season long.

    Quoted from the MFHA site.http://www.mfha.com/index.htm

    There is a formal dress code for foxhunters. Black leather boots, breeches, heavy or light hunting coat, a shirt with a tie or stock tie and a protective hat are called for. Every hunt has two seasons: cub hunting when young hounds are introduced into the pack, and the formal season. The cubbing season allows for less formal attire called "ratcatcher". Ratcatcher normally refers to a dark sport coat or hacking jacket and a shirt and tie or turtle neck shirt. In warmer climates coats are not required. Cub hunting also is the period when horses and hounds are conditioned and trained. At the same time, the foxes learn to evade hounds and become conditioned and smarter by being chased for longer periods of time as the season progresses. During cub hunting hounds are hunted only long enough to assure they are hunting the proper game. They are not kept out for long.When the formal season opens the staff wears its livery, often red coats with white breeches and black boots with tan leather tops. Members who follow as the Field wear black coats, buff breeches and black boots. Most hunts allow their gentlemen members to wear red coats. Lady masters and members of the staff also often wear red coats. Some members add to the elegance and wear cutaway coats (red for men, black for ladies) with a top hat. Hunting gear, which has changed little since foxhunting began, is based on practicality. The heavy boots and breeches protect riders from branches and brambles. Heavy melton coats are almost waterproof. The stock tie, fastened with a plain gold safety pin, can serve as a bandage for man, hound or horse in case of an accident.

    I hope this helps you understand ratcatcher, Foxhunting has a lot of protocol that it is fiercey proud of, with long standing traditions that go back to the very beggining of the sport. You will not find a terrier man in the USA, and with the ban, the UK hunts are all non kill hunts now.

    Infact sighting a fox is rare with the ever shrinking land parcels to chase and hunt on these days.


    I found an old Hunting print, The Terrier Man.

    He is in "formal attire" as he is in a Hunting "pinque" it also lets the feild know he is a member of the "Hunt staff" . These old prints are studies in artistic liscense
    Last edited by Fox Glove; 03-21-2008 at 04:53 AM. Reason: added content
    Leges sine moribus vanae

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