There is an extraordinary day among equestrians in Europe and some parts of Canada worth waiting whole year for – Saint Hubert’s Day. Why? When? What is the story behind that?
The history goes back to the medieval ages and the legend of Saint Hubert – the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers. He was known from his addiction to chasing and quite loose attitude towards life. However once he encountered the magnificent hart with the crucifix on the Good Friday, his life changed. A new mission and life vocation occurred to him so that he started to treat people and animals with great respect and compassion. From now on he is honoured among sport-hunters as the originator of ethical hunting behaviour.
In order to commemorate Saint Hubert every year in the beginning of November (sometimes mid October) there are special events and celebrations held. For hunters it is drag hunting but the main leftover of the tradition among horse riders is the contest called : Chase the fox. The rider who caught the fox from the previous year leader is running on the horse and being chased by the rest of the riders until someone catches and holds the fox. The “fox” means obviously only the tail of the artificial fox. Sometimes the leader with the fox has his hiding place somewhere in the middle of the field to take few breaths and start again. The chase ends as soon someone catches the rider with the fox and it means that next year he/she is going to be the one who runs away. At the end, there is a victory gap with all the riders following the winner in a gallop. Some stables organize also some competitions for children or horse jumping before the chase or for example at the Polish seaside the three –hour cross-country horseback riding is held. Foremost, it is a great fun and adventure to experience. The celebrations are obviously for riders who wait whole year to survive it, meet and enjoy the company of other riders but due to its unique nature it can be also a great attraction for non-riders. Special costumes, amazing shows, great decorated horses are something which are worth-seeing and experiencing at least once in a life time.
This year I participated in two chases – at the seaside which was combined with demanding cross-country riding and the second one at my beloved stable where I learnt horse riding and met life time friends. I am not a born rider. I always loved horses but never thought about riding. Once I went to the stable with my friend – the president of Gallop Travel – and was set down in the saddle and… I stayed in it until now. Horse riding for me occurred to be a passion, which I was always looking for and finally found it. Whatever happens, wherever I am, whoever I am with, I can go riding. I was riding a horse even when my little daughter was 2 months old and probably the first animals she saw were stable dogs and horses. My partner was taught riding in a week, being 4-5 hours a day in the saddle. As a result, he was able to master galloping on nearly every horse at the stable. But this is a great story for another article. Coming back to the issue, this year Saint Hubert’s chase will remain an unforgettable memory cause calmly, being unnoticed, without any pressure or even dreams to do it, I caught the fox!!! Below you will see some photos of mine, which show my overwhelming joy and pride. The reason why I decided to write this article is to encourage you to chase your dreams and passions and do more in your life what makes you happy. Happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life. We want to make people happy. Gallop Travel team.