The Image: Jan Klos, "Valeting room, Quorn hunt kennels, February 2012"
During my research into British clubs, I discovered Quorn Hunt, the oldest Fox Hunting Society based in Leicestershire, England.
It was a cold February morning when I visited the hunt kennels in Kirby Bellars near Melton Mowbry. Receiving a warm welcome from Peter, a professional huntsman, I was given a tour of the kennels and invited to photograph whatever I wanted. I had already heard much of the kennel’s valeting room, the subject of this image. Located next to the hound’s rooms where riders prepare and clean their outfits before going out to hunt, it is decorated with stuffed foxes and other trophies, including the wall-mounted antlers shown in this image.
At the end of a long day photographing the kennels, Peter invited me to tea. Over a bite to eat, he told me how had always dreamed of being a huntsman and how a House of Commons vote in 2004 passed a law that made foxhunting illegal. Since, the hounds have followed an artificially laid trail.
The valeting room is a preserved memory of the club as it once was.
- Jan Klos