The present picture is perhaps one of the three hunting scenes mentioned in the artist's account books, no. 209, 'V. Maher [sic.] Esq., 1825, £94.10.0'. Two of three pictures commissioned by Valentine Mayer were offered in these Rooms from the H.J. Joel Collection, 13 July 1984, lot 10 Tally Ho! and lot 11 The Kill. While the present picture is wider than either of the Joel pair, which measured 26 ½ x 63 ¼ in., it is of the same unusual height, and its subject would suggest that it was designed as the central picture of the three.
These long hunting full cry paintings were a speciality of Ferneley's, and no other sporting artist has left us with such a record of hunting in the first half of the nineteenth-century with, in many cases, the names of the followers shown.
The Quorn hunt is one of the world's oldest fox hunting packs, and was established 1696. Its country is mostly in Leicestershire, together with some smaller areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The group of riders are all identified, with John Ferneley including himself in the composition. Ferneley may be the figure clearing the fence dressed in black, as since he wasn’t a member of the Quorn hunt, he wouldn’t have been able to ride in a red coat.