Just outside the old Roman market-town of Cirencester, there resides a little pack of beagles which belongs to the Royal Agricultural College. Throughout their history, since 1889, these hounds have hunted the ubiquitous European Brown Hare across the countries of both the Duke of Beaufort and the VWH, by kind permission of these two foxhound packs and all the local farmers of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Presently, the RAC Beagles operate with around thirty couples in the kennel and fly in full cry, two/three times a week, legally, behind rabbits and trail lines. Hunt staff is appointed annually from the student body to run the pack of hounds for usually one season, along with a secretary and hunt supporters’ club. The students arrange social functions such as the Auction of Promises Dinner, Hunt Ball, and Clay Pigeon Shoot (jointly run with the VWH Hunt), in order to sustain the pack’s financial stability, as well as in an effort to optimize the community’s and students’ support of the sport. And most significantly, without the exceptionally supportive hunt committee, loyal subscribers, and understanding farmers that foster the pack’s existence, the RAC Beagles would not thrive as it has for over one hundred and twenty-three years.
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