Middleburg Academy student, Andrew Looney, has been hunting steadily since elementary school. The 16 year old now spends as much time as he can assisting Piedmont Fox Hounds' (VA) huntsman, Jordan Hicks. "Andrew is a great young man and a hard worker," said Hicks. "He works with me in the kennels and helps with the trails and paneling in the summer." The excellent student and top lacrosse player answered a few questions about his path to working and riding with staff.
Andrew and Captain Jack out with Piedmont Fox Hounds. Photo by Middleburg Photo.
1. When did you start riding? How did you become interested in foxhunting?
Answer: I started riding when I was a little kid, but was very on and off about it. I would ride for a year or two, then take a year or two off. I really didn't get into hunting let alone riding until I started riding with Karen Nutt and George Kingsley. It wasn't until fourth grade that I really started to like hunting. Soon I started spending my time on the weekends at the Middleburg Hunt kennels. I worked there as much as I could until the summer between eighth and ninth grades.
2. How did you become involved with whipping-in and riding with the huntsman?
Answer: I started working at Piedmont Fox Hounds the summer between ninth and tenth grades, when I wanted to get more into it and work every day over the summer. I have worked at the Piedmont kennels for three years now and going onto my fourth. In this time, I worked with two different huntsmen, each with very different hunting styles. I started riding up with [former huntsman] Spencer XXX, and once he left I started riding with [present huntsman] Jordan Hicks.
3. What is your typical hunt day like? What is your country like?
Answer: My typical hunt day involves getting my horse ready and anything else that mind needs to be done before hunting. After hunting I will come back and take care of my horse. Our country is very pretty, and we are very lucky to have it.
4. What is the most challenging part about hunting, and what is the most fun part?
Answer: The most challenging part is the weather, which affects the scent. The most fun part is seeing the hounds work together and run a fox well.
5. When you aren't following hounds, what other activities do you enjoy?
Answer: I love working either with the hounds or for other people. I don't like staying inside and I love hanging with my friends.