Drag Hunting is an equestrian sport, where mounted riders hunt the trail of an artificially laid scent. In a Drag Hunt the hounds are training to follow/hunt a prepared scent. It does not involve the hunting of live animals.
About an hour or so before the hunt can begin, a “drag layer” simply dips a cloth in the scent mixture and trails it along the ground behind him/her to create a cross-country trail (or “dragline”). The scent, although repulsive to humans, is irresistible to hounds who believe (incorrectly) they are chasing a live animal! There are usually three to four lines, of approximately 3 – 4 kms each, laid for a day of hunting. These lines are laid over a pre-determined route to take advantage of the best footing, optional jumping opportunities and to ensure the safety of the horse and rider. At the end of each line there is a “check” which is a resting period of about 10 – 15 minutes which allows the hounds to rest and the horses and riders a chance to relax and socialize.
Drag hunting is a very safe, fun way to hunt. Because the trail has been laid by a human great care is taken to ensure that the route is safe for the horses but will still provide a challenge to the hounds.