On October 21, Red Rock Hounds (NV) hosted their first Invitational Carriage Drive and Hunt in picturesque Rancho Haven, nestled at the foot of Nevada’s rugged 8,000-foot Mt. Petersen range. Hunt member Carrie Barrett, who drives and rides, had invited members of the carriage driving community to join the hunt to become horse-drawn spectators. The brisk day began with horses being saddled, while an elegant Irish Draft, flashy Haflinger, sporty Welsh ponies and an adorable VSE (very small equine) mini horse stood quietly waiting to be harnessed to carts and carriages.
Red Rock Hounds member Carrie Barrett drives her team behind Master Lynn Lloyd and second field. Photo by Nancy "Waldo" Stevens-Brown.
Adding to that animation, the boisterous babble from hounds fused with the bawling of cattle being rounded up, while liveried equestrians and carriage drivers in 1800’s garb mingled with cowboys sporting spurs and chaps. On a Hollywood sound stage such a diverse assembly is possible, yet at Reno’s unquestionably unmatched and uniquely western hunt people often exclaim, “Only at Red Rock will you see this!” The audible and visual feast of two splendid horse sports combined with a cattle drive validated that view!
After the stirrup cup and introductions by Red Rock Hounds founder and Master Lynn Lloyd, Master Angela Murray led the field with 15 couple and promptly broke into a brisk gallop as the keen hounds swiftly caught the scent of coyote in the Rancho Haven greenbelt. While the hunt pursued the exuberant pack, the carriage enthusiasts caravanned along the sandy roads that encircle the valley to witness the time-honored scene playing out before them.
It was fitting that the inaugural drive~n~hunt was held at that Rancho Haven fixture, the very valley were Master Lynn Lloyd began her life’s passion 37 years ago by founding the Red Rock Hounds. Since that modest start, untold miles have passed beneath the hounds and huntsman here. So, with a Tally Ho! and tip of the cap, the spectacle of scarlet coats and hounds combined with carriages and a cattle drive made for distinctly Red Rock Hounds experience!
This crafty coyote paused to observe the hounds and horsemen arriving at Rancho Haven. Photo by Nancy "Waldo" Stevens-Brown.