Arapahoe Hunt's (CO) Junior Hunt Day on April 8 was a marvelous day of "firsts" for the young members of the Arapahoe Hunt Pony Club! There were huge smiles on the faces of both kids and adults. From following hounds off the leadline to keeping up with whippers-in, many Pony Club members checked goals off their foxhunting wish lists.

Arapahoe Hunt Pony Club earned first place in last year's Live Oak USPC Foxhunting Challenge Award, which recognizes Pony Clubs who get a large percentage of their members out in the hunt field. It looks like the coming season will be another successful one for Arapahoe's juniors.

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Photo by Zina M. Balash.

For Lily Krattenmaker, age 6 (above), it was her first hunt riding solo, off of the leadline.

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Photo by Zina M. Balash.

Gwen Gillmor, 6, and Anyah Luke, 9, cantered for their first times - ever! Anyah said, "I'd like to do more of that," and Gwen added, "Now we can ride up front with the hounds, right?"

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Photo by Zina M. Balash.

Angelina Bouzarelos, 10, made her debut appearance in the first field, at least for as long as little Shetland pony legs could keep up with the big horses.

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Photo by Zina M. Balash.

And MacKenzie Saunders, 11, rode for the first time with staff and hounds, learning how to be a whipper-in. Keeping up with Dr. Marvin Beeman, MFH and huntsman, is no easy task, but MacKenzie took advantage of the opportunity to learn from the best! 

We have had such a fun season - the kids have all learned and grown so much. It is an amazing experience to watch them encourage and inspire each other out in the field, and see them turning into courageous, independent little foxhunters. For the moms, a magical day like this one is something of a dream come true - the culmination of a lot of hard work (and more than a little luck). There's something indescribable about seeing your little one share in your joy. Our hearts are very full.

 

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