For more than a quarter of a century, South Creek Foxhounds (FL) has recognized the Hunt Horse of the Year at their hunt ball. The outstanding mount epitomizes the qualities field masters appreciate and staff admire: good manners, athleticism, reliability. The 2018 recipient is Pete, a twelve-year-old gelding owned by SCF secretary Lorraine Sparra.
Pete and Lorraine Sparra well turned out for Opening Meet. Photo by Amy Chenard.
Joint Master Vicki Reeves said, "Neither Lorraine nor her horse ever have a hair out of place or make a misstep! We are delighted and honored to have Lorraine and Pete in the hunt field." She explained, "The Masters and hunt committee vote on the Horse of the Year. This award is a perpetual trophy that has the horse and owner’s name engraved on it, and will be kept by the winner for one year. It's then returned to SCF to be presented to the next winner the following season. It is a highly sought-after award, as you can imagine!"
Sparra added, "I'm so proud, because my horse now matches the enthusiasm that I have as a dedicated member of SCF. As our huntsman Sarah Fox Sears said, 'The winner would be a horse that if I were required to go into the field and choose one horse to finish a hunt, it would be that horse!'"
Pete, at center, leads the way in the South Creek field. Photo by John Smoak.
Pete has completed his 10th season and has never missed a hunt. Sparra shares: "He is reliable, consistent, calm, fast, he checks all the boxes. He is an 18 hand Friesian/Thoroughbred. I first rode him in the field as a three year old. I couldn't be more proud, happy and thankful!"
This trophy was first awarded in 1992, and the winners are selected from multiple horses nominated each year. In addition to the recognition and the beautiful trophy, Pete was also awarded a cooler with the Horse of the Year distinction embroidered onto it.