There are many ways in which a whipper-in who is not intelligent and alert may spoil sport; indeed, the duke of Beaufort went so far as to declare that "in his experience, with very few exceptions, nine days out of ten that the whipper-in goes out hunting he does more harm than good."
The duties of the whipper-in are to a great extent explained by his title.
In woodland countries, however, a good whipper-in is really of almost as much importance as the huntsman himself; if he is not alert the hounds are likely to divide, as when running a little wide they are apt to put up a fresh fox.
Most other hunts will also have a second whipper-in and a fulltime kennel man.
Whilst the huntsman is drawing the cover the whipper-in is stationed at the spot from which he can best see what is going on, in order to view the fox away; and it is his business to keep the hounds together when they have found and got away after the fox.