Things to do

The annual Hubertusjagt is called off this year

A tradition dating back to 1905 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Let us make it clear for all the animal lovers out there, the annual hunt in Dyrehaven north of Copenhagen does not entail the chase of a real live fox!

It’s the main outing for Copenhageners with more than 40,000 visitors attracted by the possibility of seeing riders and horses as they come charging full gallop towards the jumps, red riding coats, shiny harness, all ready to give their best and intensely competing to become this year’s champion.

Not so this year, as due to the coronavirus outbreak, the hunt has been called off.

The Copenhagen event has since 1905 been organised by the riding club Sportsrideklubben in Charlottenlund. It is the autumn event in Dyrehaven, the deer park in Klampenborg about 10 km north of Copenhagen.

The name Hubertusjagt is derived from the Bishop Hubert, who died on 3 November 728 and became Saint Hubert by order of the Pope.

At the time, and for many centuries afterwards, hunting on horseback was for kings and noblemen.

However, in Denmark, the Hubertus hunt, more or less as we know it today, was first organised at the turn of the 20th century in Copenhagen by local riding clubs enjoying hunting from horseback.

Today, the hunting sport on horseback takes place several times a year, but only as closed events for members of their clubs. No foxes are hunted!

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The last hunt of the year is the one in Dyrehaven and, as it is the only existing public event, it usually offers a great opportunity for everyone to experience the fascinating and slightly dramatic sight of horses at full speed, flying through the air, fighting to keep their balance at the steep landing on the other side of the obstacles.

More than 160 riders participate in the hunt.

For many Copenhageners it has become a tradition; getting up early on that first Sunday in November, dressing warmly and setting off to get the best place as close as possible to the hunting route.

The organisers promise that the hunt will be back on the first Sunday in November 2021.