Living at Church Farm in Swainsthorpe from around 1903 until 1911, Munnings often rode with the Norwich Staghounds. 'Hunting became a part of my life, and I saw many things on those days: bright winter sunlight on clipped horses and scarlet coats; on bare trees; stacks; on farmhouse gables; the riding out after a slight frost; the riding home with a frost beginning and a young moon in the sky; puddles already crisping over as I said good night to friends. Such were needed to freshen my mind and vision' (An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 258).
During his years at Church Farm, Munnings employed a groom-cum-model named George Curzon who posed for a series of hunting pictures and is the likely sitter for Huntsman in Cover. 'George Curzon was the high-sounding name of my new groom at Swainsthorpe. Never was a master, calling himself an artist, better understood or served. Winter mornings and afternoons passed as, dressed in scarlet he posed on a horse. At last I was seeing the colour of a scarlet coat in the sun, the sheen of a clipped horse, with the lighting on fences, tree-trunks, fields' (op. cit., p. 195).
The horse in the present work is probably Rebecca, the dark brown mare, fifteen hands three inches high, which Munnings had purchased some years earlier from his friend the Norwich horse dealer, Richard Bullard. 'Good-natured to the last degree, she served as hack, hunter and model. When the Gowings, father and son, colt-breakers, came from Harleston and clipped my new possession (they used a hand-clipper in those days), Charles, the son, declared her a "good 'un", and she looked the part' (op. cit., p. 184).