- Cathleen A. Springer
Super Storm Sandy did her utmost to thwart the charity ride sponsored by HorseAbility and Smithtown, but Sandy didn’t reckon with the tenacity of the Smithtown Hunt members and friends. Weeks of chain saw, bush hog and back breaking manual labor organized by John Rooney converted a wasteland back to ride-able trails on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury. 22 members and 17 cappers thoroughly enjoyed the mild temperatures on December 12, 2012.
Prior to the first cast, Frank D. Bradford and Bernadette McHugh of the NSHA Rough Riders, posted the colors for the singing of the National Anthem by Guy Yuhas. Then, 10 1/2 couple hounds were singing themselves silly through the beautiful President’s Field and on restored paths through the tree carnage. An abundance of caution guided MFH’s Kevin Maple and Arthur Gerdts as newly cleared trails were negotiated by both the seasoned and novice foxhunters behind a cracking good pack cheered on by Huntsman, Brian Quinn ably assisted by Whippers-in Craig Boehner and Christine Toner. Sadly, not all riders and horses kept company throughout the day, but all were restored to optimum condition as of this writing.