Young riders, mark your calendars: The 2016 Junior North American Field Hunter Championships (JNAFHC) are right around the corner! The first qualifying meets take place next month (see developing schedule below), and the finals will be held on Sunday, October 23rd. This promises to be a big year for the JNAFHC. The number of qualifying meets has grown to 27, including five new states, which will allow an increasing number of juniors to participate in the expanded program.


Photo by David Traxler.

The competition is designed for riders 18 years old (as of August 1, 2016) and younger, competing on foxhunting ponies or appropriate hunt horses. There are three divisions: First Field, ages 13 to 18; First Field, ages 12 and Under; and Hilltoppers, ages 18 and under. Proper turnout and the horse's athletic performance are considered, but suitability for the young rider is of utmost importance. Judges ride in the field at the qualifying meets and select rider/horse combinations to invite to the championships. Riders not selected at one meet may continue to hunt at subsequent qualifying meets, and may later be selected (or not) at the judges' discretion. Riders who have already qualified are invited to continue to ride at subsequent qualifying meets, but are identified by an armband, so that day's judges are aware and they are not judged again.

Once they are selected, juniors are invited to the finals, which will be held on Sunday, October 23 with the Iroquois Hunt in Lexington, Kentucky. Jack van Nagell, MFH of the Iroquois Hunt and president of the MFHA, and his committee are busy preparing to make this one of the best championships ever. Two new contests will be offered at this year’s championships: Horrn Blowing and Whip Cracking! Silver Revere bowls will be awarded to the winners. Beautiful coolers and leather halters will also be awarded to division champions and reserve champions.

Upon submitting an entry form (with a one-time $75 fee), entrants may hunt in as many qualifiers as they choose. We hope to see them meet new friends, explore new country, encourage each other, hunt to their hearts' content, and gain an appreciation and love for the countryside and its preservation for future generations.


Photo by Libby Sautter.

To help riders prepare, many hunts are offering clinics and paces ahead of the qualifiers. Mosts of these are listed on the website and the public Facebook group.

Contacts for more information and any questions are the following:

Marion Chungo -
Michelle Arnold -

Florida - Liz Howard -
Mid West - Carla Babcock -
Tennessee - Virginia Voigt -

Facebook – Junior North American Field Hunter Championship

The schedule of 2016 Qualifiers (hunt meets designated as opportunities to be selected for the finals) follows: 

Sept. 24 - Palm Beach/South Creek/Four Winds
Oct. 1 & 2 – Live Oak Hounds

Oct. 1 - Belle Meade
Oct. 8 - Midland Fox Hounds

Sept. 10 - Long Run Hounds
Sept. 24 - Camargo Hunt

Sept. 25 – Carrollton Hounds
Oct. 1 - Potomac Hunt
Oct. 9 - New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds
Oct. 16 - Goshen Hounds

TBD - Norfolk Hunt

North Carolina
Oct. 1 - Moore County Hounds

Sept. 17 - Chagrin Valley Hunt
TBD – Rocky Fork Headley Hunt

Sept. 24 - Andrews Bridge Foxhounds
Sept. 24 - Rolling Rock
Oct. 1 – Radnor Hunt
TBD - Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds

South Carolina
Oct. 15 – Aiken Hounds
TBD - Camden Hunt

Oct. 1 - Hillsboro Hounds

Sept. 17 – Old Dominion
Sept. 24 - Blue Ridge Hunt
Sept. 25 – Rappahannock
Oct. 8 – Farmington
Oct. 15 – Keswick

TBD - Woodbrook Hunt

For updates on the "to be determined" qualifiers, visit the JNAFHC website.

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