Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking of a fox by trained foxhounds and a group of unarmed followers lead by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback. Many Greek and Roman influence countries have long traditions of hunting with hounds, but hunting with hounds was popular in Celtic Britain, even before the Romans arrived. The earliest known attempt to hunt a fox with hounds was in Norfolk, England in 1534, where farmers began chasing foxes down with their dogs for the purpose of pest control. The first use of packs trained to hunt foxes was in the lat 1600’s in Yorkshire, England.
According to the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America, Englishman Robert Brooke was the first man to import hunting hounds to America, bringing his pack of foxhounds to Maryland in 1650 along with his horses. The first organized hunt for the benefit of a group was started by Thomas, sixth Lord of Fairfax in 1747. In the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both kept packs of fox hounds. In 2013, the Masters of Foxhounds Association listed 163 registered packs in the U.S. and Canada.