For Love of the Sport

Ashleigh and D2 croppedThree years ago, I never thought I would be galloping through open fields, flying over coops, watching the hounds, or saying, “tally ho!” when I saw a fox. But now, I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m always planning the next time I can go foxhunting. I read foxhunting books, draw foxhunting pictures, and decorate my room with hunting décor. I have found what I want to do for the rest of my life.

When I turn 17 this December, I will have been riding for 10 years. Up until I tried foxhunting, I did mainly hunters and jumpers with a little eventing here and there. A couple of years ago when I decided I wanted to get serious with my riding, I needed to choose one of the two disciplines to focus on: hunters and jumpers or eventing. It was a real struggle for me to decide which one—both had positives and negatives in my eyes. After a while of contemplation, I finally chose hunters and jumpers as my focus. I love to go to shows and compete, but I got to thinking, is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?

Who Says You Have to Ride Fast to be Part of the Action?

Dianna Romanick photoDianna Romanick photoThe Moingona Hunt of Iowa-Kansas hosted its Annual Invitational Hunt on the weekend of September 22-23, 2012, with the Sunday hunt being dedicated to the Pony Clubs of Iowa.

Members from three clubs, Prairie Jumpers, Silver Bits, and the Timber Ridge Pony Club, arrived on Saturday at the home of MFH Tommy and Jessica Ghrist in southern Iowa. After settling in they were treated to an afternoon trail ride through hunt country to get a feel for what they could expect on Sunday.

Temperatures dipped to near freezing Saturday night which offered spectacular hunting conditions for Sunday morning: crisp, cool, and no wind, which is something we have not seen in many months.

Proper Preparation Promotes Peak Performance

Juniors in_hunt_field_2A smartly turned out junior member who is capable and skilled in the hunt field makes any hunt proud.  The Tennessee Valley Hunt loves it when a hunior grows up foxhunting with us. There are several adults who are hunting with us now that started out years ago as juniors. They are now valuable members of our hunt, ready to teach or encourage any young or old new member. 

TVH Junior Maggie Vick. Photo by Gretchen Pelham.

 

Foxhunting has a long tradition with Pony Club.  Many of the skills learned in Pony Club are the exact riding skills needed to ride in a hunt safely with maximum fun.  The local pony clubs are encouraged to hunt with TVH as often as they can.

Taylor Tops World in Games Championships

What do foxhunting kids do in the off-season? If you are Mackenzie Taylor, you spend it vaulting, weaving, popping Mackenzie taylorFleet on her feet, Mackenzie Taylor is 17 & Under World Games Champion. Photo by J. Ryan Crowley.balloons and dropping socks from the back of your pony, travelling all over the eastern half of the United States, and then boarding a plane for a few weeks of international competition in the United Kingdom, Australia or other venues in Europe.
Mackenzie is tied very closely to the foxhunting community and the Goshen Hounds, where her father Robert Taylor, MFH is also huntsman. Her mother Kathy Jones Taylor rides regularly to the hounds, and her grandmother, Karen Jones, whips in to Robert. Grandfather Rick Jones, ex-MFH, served Goshen Hounds for 13 years as a Master and additional decades as a whipper-in.

Tally Ho Ho Pony Club and Away We Go

 

USPC 1 June 12Photo by Andy TowellUnder the usual gray Northwest skies, about 75 pony clubbers, turned out for the annual Woodbook Hunt Club Pony Club Hunt.  There were heavy rains all week which  created lakes with no alligators and muddy bogs in the club’s parking area and left plenty of opportunity to make sure all that extra bathing and grooming was soon undone. Rain was predicted for the day of the hunt, but the weatherman wasn’t successful in dampening the pony clubs’ enthusiasm for their special day. The heavens parted and gave us a three hour opportunity for a fabulous hunt.  God has always given this to us for a number of years.  In the middle of a storm, the light shines through.  Several pony clubbers came three or four hours from Port Angeles and Sequim, Western Washington’s “Banana Belt.”  Pony clubs participating were: Carbon Hooves, Carbon River, Baywood, Peninsula, Woodbrook Hunt, and Narrows.

Independence Hounds: Friendly as a Texas Smile

USPCbluelogoforwebThis weekend the gracious staff at Independence Foxhounds opened their facilities to the kids from Brazos Pony Club, Rio Grande Region, College Station, TX, to introduce them to foxhunting, and begin working on their Foxhunting Certification.  The kids arrived on Friday with their horses, and after getting everyone settled in their paddocks they jumped right in with a lecture and tour of the kennels.  It took a while for the hounds to settle and be quiet, and the Pony Clubbers learned about hounds and hunt etiquette, and got pointers on how to ride in a group. 

Candida Scott, MFH and huntsman then took the group out with 7 1/2 couple, (she picked the old quiet ones) one whipper in and several staff in 4-wheelers to let the kids practice riding behind hounds.  One of the older Pony Clubbers who had hunted before was appointed Field Master, and she carefully led her charges behind the pack, giving everyone a chance to get used to the chaos that goes with riding to hounds.  The non-riding moms followed in the Kubota, and from the sound of them had their own little party going.  All went well until a jackrabbit popped up and took the hounds on a merry chase straight towards the edge of the property. The staff was able to call off the hounds quickly and head off the pack in time.

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