This involves tracking, chasing, and often killing a fox, using trained foxhounds. A group of unarmed followers led by a master of foxhounds follow the hounds on foot or horseback. If caught, the hounds kill the fox. The act of ‘blooding’ is the traditional ceremony of smearing the blood of the fox on the forehead or cheeks of a newly initiated hunter, usually children. Fox hunting originated in the 16th century and takes place all over the world, including in Ireland, France, Italy, Canada the United States and Australia.
The sport was banned in 2002 in Scotland, and in England and Wales in November 2004 (the law was enforced from February 2005). Certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law, and shooting foxes as vermin remains lawful. Proponents of fox hunting view it as an important part of rural culture and useful for pest control, while opponents like the RSPCA argue that it is cruel and unnecessary.
Polo is played on horseback and players win points by scoring goals with a wooden ball against the opposing team. It originated in Southern or Central Asia, most probably Persia, and dates from 6th century BC. The modern game derives from Manipur, India where the first club was established in Assam, India in 1833. See right – Prince William and Prince Harry are regular players.