Day Out in Denmark | The Historic Hubertus Hunt in Klampenborg

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.

The “foxes” lead the race
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.

Master of the Hunt
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 Par Force Hunting Landscape | Photo Credit: Daniel Overbeck
The Par Force Hunting Landscape | Photo credit: Parforcejagtlandskabet i Nordsjælland
Jægersborg Dyrehave

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

STAGE 1

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

STAGE 2

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.

Danish Crown Princess Mary and children watching the riders pass The Hermitage Hunting Lodge
Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary with family

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.

Klampenborg Station
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!

22 thoughts on “Day Out in Denmark | The Historic Hubertus Hunt in Klampenborg

  1. It looks great and so happy that no animals are hurt. In the UK it is a hugely controversial thing. Fox hunting for prey is banned but unfortunately some don’t obey the law. Some of the hunts here can be pretty pompous affairs too. Wilbur. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      There is definitely some tradition to the Hubertusjagt – but feels pretty egalitarian to me – everyone can watch and all have an opportunity to wave to the Crown Princess. It’s part of what I love about Denmark. Ride your bike and enjoy the impressive display together. Cheers from here!

  2. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    What a colourful spectacle – the red and black against those gorgeous autumnal shades. This is the way for everyone to enjoy ‘hunting’. #farawayfiles

  3. Clare Thomson

    What a great idea to have the hunt still as a chase, but without the fox. Here in the UK, I think they chase a scent-covered rag although, like Wilbur says, there are quite a few hunts that don’t obey the law. I do love the spectacle of the hunt, the riders all dressed in their ‘pinks’ and the barking dogs at their side. This really looks worth a day out. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      No dogs here only horses – and definitely no foxes! Thank goodness. And to be honest – it is easier to watch when you know where they’re going!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      It’s only one day a year here – so you might have to plan ahead, but it’s a unique thing to do outside the city!

  4. . It s so nice to know the tradition is kept but symbolically with out harming animals. It looks like a glorious autumn there. Loved reading this post, hope I get to watch it someday. .

  5. Ladies what travel

    I was happy to hear it’s a symbolic hunt – nice to show a way that historical events can be updated and continued in a more thoughtful manner. #FarawayFiles

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