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Out of an eastern-bred love of foxhunting, the Santa Fe Hunt was first conceived and founded in 1969 as a "paper chase." The founders were a small group of San Diego residents led by Dr. Sol Roy Rosenthal of Rancho Santa Fe and including Augie and Ruth Handley, Tom Slattery, Tom Krai, Dennis Dale, and Santa Fe's first Master of Foxhounds, Hugh Dale. Following the acquisition of four "foundation" hounds, Mr. James Norment became the first professional huntsman. Growing participation in the hunt built to its Registration by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America in 1973. In that same year, the first SFH Hunt Ball was held at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego to great social acclaim.

During the early years, SFH hunt country was located entirely within San Diego County and included much of the open areas of Rancho Santa Fe as well as Rancho Bernardo, Poway and Penasquitos Canyon. As encroaching development reduced open country in the early 1980's, there was a brief period of relative inactivity for the hunt, until its reorganization and incorporation in 1984. This rejuvenation, spearheaded by past-Master Alex Pisciotta and the late MFH Augie Handley, resulted in the hunt's expansion into Riverside County and its Recognition by the Masters of Foxhounds Association in 1987. During this period, hunt country included Camp Pendleton and the Naval Weapons Station, as well as areas of Temecula, Rancho California and the Santa Rosa Plateau.


Today, the hunt kennels are located in Riverside County, professionally managed by a professional kennelman and overseen by Master and Huntsman Terrel E. Paine. We hunt Crossbred hounds and English hounds under the auspices of Huntsman Paine, over country variously located within Riverside and San Diego Counties.


The Staff

  • At the end of the day thank the Huntsman, and the Staff, they worked hard bringing you a day's sport.
 Staff have duties from before the hunt until returning the hounds to the kennel. Please understand if they are unable to socialize with you at times.

  • When a staff member passes by you, especially on narrow lanes, turn your horse's head toward the staff member...never your horse's tail.

  • A call of 'staff please' requires that you quickly leave room for said staff member to pass safely. Greet the Secretary to ensure that you are recorded as being on the hunt, pay your capping fee before the hunt moves out.

The Quarry
If you see a coyote, don't "Tally ho," because that coyote might not be the one hunted, and even if it is you might scare him and make him turn around right into the pack of hounds. Get word to your Field Master - quietly - and, after making sure the coyote is safely on his way, he/she will signal a Whip or the Huntsman by pointing his/her horse's head and cap at the spot the coyote was last seen and, if necessary, calling "Tally-ho." If you see something and are not sure if it is a Coyote - see the above.

The Hounds

  • Watch and listen to the hounds working - that is why we are here.

  • Listen for the horn and the hounds to tell you what's happening, learn the Huntsman's horn calls and you will find you are a bit more prepared for what happens next.

  • Never 'rate' - talk to - a hound or correct a hound - that is a huntsman's 
or staff responsibility.

  • Never use your whip on a hound in any manner - dropping your lash to discourage a hound from going near or underneath your horse is acceptable.

  • Do not speak to one another when close to hounds -- you will bring their heads up, do not mention their names when they can hear you.

  • Keep your horses head pointed toward passing hounds to avoid an errant kick. 

  • Let the hounds proceed over coops before you do - do not ride into or jump into hounds.


While many people have the impression that foxhunting is an elitist sport, nothing is further from truth. Our members are geographically dispersed and represent a cross-section of Southern California lifestyles and professions, including physicians, lawyers, teachers, artists, veterinarians, military officers, pilots, entrepreneurs, business people, and individuals in the travel and the entertainment industries, racehorse breeding and training, horse trainers, and amateur competitive riders.

Our formal hunt season begins in November and typically ends in April, with hounds going out twice a week during that period, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Hound exercise ("Roading") and training ("Autumn Hunting") fill the calendar for the balance of each year.

The heart of all SFH activity is the care, breeding, exercise and training of our select pack of MFHA-registered foxhounds.

The social gatherings and competitive riding events throughout each year include:

  • Social parties

  • Temecula Wine Rides,

  • Hound Show with other hunts, 

  • Hound Trial with other hunts,

  • Christmas Party, 

  • Puppy Auction, 

  • Camping trips,

  • Riding clinics, 

  • Hunter Pace Meets and Calcutta Dinner,

  • Barn Dances,

  • Awards Dinner at end of season in May

Hunting twice a week (42 hunts in a season) with a punch bowl (a picnic) afterwards every weekend hunt.

We work in conjunction with area Pony Clubs to foster horsemanship and to enhance community participation in English cross-country riding and traditional fox hunting.

Foxhunting Ettiquette

Foxhunting is just that, we are hunting, but in our case, we hunt coyotes. It is said, "There are those that ride to hunt, and others that hunt to ride." Whichever category you find yourself in, remember foremost, that we are hunting. This should be understood by all that participate. Please take this into consideration when inviting guests and bringing children. The focus of the riders in the field should be on the progress and conduct of the hunt while the hounds are hunting. This is not a trail ride, cross country event or a nature walk.

There are proper conventions and etiquette that participants are expected to follow. Any unsafe, rude or unsportsmanlike conduct will be addressed by the Master up to and including removal of a rider from the field. The Master is the final authority in the field, any requests by the Master must be followed immediately and without discussion.

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