On May 10th, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the New Jersey Inter-Hunt Puppy Show, hosted by Windy Hollow Hunt (NY). About a week before, a couple of my friends and I were invited to go to the kennels and attempt to learn how to show hounds in just a few days. After three or four days of watching and learning how to walk, stack, and bathe foxhounds, the day of the show approached quickly. Huntsman Chris Burrowswood was kind enough to lend us white coats and deal with us really not knowing what was going on!

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Photo courtesy of Joanne Burrowswood.

Fellow juniors Nick Mazzone, Caity Cuddy andI unloaded our first hounds, Router, Roland, and Bingo, and watched a few classes before ours. As soon as the four of us entered the ring, I could feel my throat seize up and my heart was trying to escape from my chest. I can definitely say that we were all quite anxious with the mutual concern of not embarrassing Chris. I did my best to stand with Router, and I was quite relieved when we managed to make it through without my having a breakdown!

After that first class, we returned the dog hounds to the trailer, and I picked up Brenna along with Bluebell and Biscuit. We entered the ring this time feeling a bit more confident in ourselves. The judge called us up to the board, and I felt a bit pushed down as I was back on the end that was nearer placing last in the earlier class. But little did I know, it was the other way around this time: they pinned the entries and I was very proud of Brenna, she won her entered bitch class!

It wasn’t long before the three of us returned for our next class and another great performance from Brenna! The last class of the day was for junior handlers, the difficult part because we couldn’t rely on our hounds this time. I chose Router for this class, and when I set him up for the judges, they would walk away and then Router would stand nicely. Of course, when they came back to us, Router had never been more fidgety! Surprisingly, we still took fourth place. I was quite pleased with this given the fact I’d only known how to do it for a week!

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Photo courtesy of Joanne Burrowswood.

I left the show that day with a totally different feeling: newfound respect, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. A big thank you to Chris and Joanne Burrowswood for a great experience, and another thank you to the hounds that taught me and gave me their all.

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