A Danish Autumn Adventure Just North of Copenhagen
JÆGERSBORG DYREHAVEN IS PART OF A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Gathered in the autumn colored forests north of Copenhagen every November, nearly 40,000 locals anxiously await the pounding sound of horses galloping and maneuvering obstacles with their riders in brilliant red suits. This is the Hubertus Hunt, or Hubertusjagt in Danish. Every year since 1900, with the exception of a few years during WWII, spectators have gathered in the gorgeous forest park known as Jægersborg Dyrehave on the first Sunday in November.
NO FOXES ARE HARMED IN THIS HUNT
The Hubertusjagt is a symbolic “hunt” that celebrates the heritage of this place. But don’t worry, no prey are pursued any longer and you’ll hear nary a hound. Here, two of the quickest riders lead the racers around the route with tails tied to their classic bright red jackets. They ensure the course is clear of crowds and any of the resident deer who live here. Next comes for the Masters of the Hunt – the first riders to follow the “foxes.” Look out for their characteristic black top hats. They set the pace of the hunt for the nearly 100 riders who follow.
HISTORIC PAR-FORCE HUNTING GROUNDS OF NORTH ZEALAND
Built under the direction of Danish King Christian V in the 17th century, the landscape of North Zealand was developed for “par force” royal hunting displays. All the rage for Baroque kings, long lanes through the woods let hunters and dogs chase their prey to exhaustion before the King could step in and administer symbolic and final blows attesting to his dominance over nature and place.
Lucky for you the brutal practice has long since ceased and now the planned forests are gorgeous green spaces where everyone can soak up the scenery, especially beautiful in autumn. Evidence of the stately system of parkways and stone markers that aided the hunters can still be seen in the forests of Gribskov, Store Dyrehave and Jægersborg Dyrehave – all north of Copenhagen. As some of the best-preserved examples for this type of hunting, the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
THE HUBERTUS HUNT ROUTE
This year’s complete route is about 10 kilometers long and runs through 32 obstacles, so there are plenty of places to catch the heart-pounding action. Follow along the route below or plant yourself in one place and catch the riders manuever a specific obstacle. The race begins at 10.00 am from Peter Lieps Hus, a five to ten-minute walk from the Klampenborg train station. Come early to hear the opening speech (in Danish) at 9.30 am. Where the riders rush through the water reservoir near the Hermitage Hunting Lodge is always a popular viewing place. Event organizers estimate riders will arrive here (#29 on map) around 11.20 am.
Peter Lieps Hus
Dyrehaven 8, 2930 Klampenborg Denmark
1 | Tree trunk
2 | Tree trunk
3 | Tree trunk
4 | Triple bar
5 | Deep landing
6 | Deep landing
7 | Ulvedalene
8 | Ulvedalene
9 | Tree trunk
10 | Horizontal bar
11 | Deep landing
12 | Hurdle Oxer
13 | Wood trunk
14 | Tree trunk with horizontal bar
15 | Jump out at the landslide
16 | 4 booms
17 | Oxer jump
18 | Tree trunk
19 | Grand hurdle
20 | Grand hurdle
21 | Tree trunk
22 | Deep landing
23 | 4 booms
24 | 4 booms
25 | Tree trunk
26 | Horizontal bar
27 | Trench with three booms
28 | Horizontal bar middle height
29 | Water reservoir
30 | Autumn wagon
31 | Grand hurdle
32 | Grand hurdle
RACE FOR THE FINISH
This year, thirty horse and fifteen pony riders who have previously qualified will run an 800-meter rally after the end of the two-stage hunt route. The fastest will be awarded as winners by Crown Princess Mary herself on the steps of the Royal Hunting Lodge, The Hermitage.
GOOD TO KNOW:
The race lasts about two hours. You can ride your bicycle through the park, but be aware that many of the paths will be full of people walking. Take the train to Klampenborg Station or park your car near Hotel & Restaurant Fortunen on the Lyngby side of the park.
Dyrehavevej 1, 2930 Klampenborg Denmark
Hotel & Restaurant Fortunen
Ved Fortunen 33, 2800 Kongens Lyngby Denmark
Bring snacks and thermos full of hot chocolate or coffee as there is little place to get anything inside the park.
Cheers from here and enjoy the ride!