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.

A River Runs Through It

Third grade students at Gates Mills ElementaryThird grade students at Gates Mills Elementary SchoolMary Myers, the principal of the Gates Mills, Ohio, Elementary School suggested this building goal and worked with the staff at the school to develop ways for the students to reconnect with the community where they attend school. The Chagrin River runs prominently through the village, so this was particularly appropriate. Each grade level chose an aspect of the village to work with – Safety Forces, The River, The Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, the Library and the Nature Conservancy. The Art teacher, Heather Vokic, worked with a local artist, George Woidek from Young Audiences, to design a tile mural that all the children would have a hand in creating.

United States Pony Clubs Announces Foxhunting Writing Contest

USPCbluelogoforwebThe annual Hildegard Neill Ritchie Writing contest is open to all D- or C-rated Pony Club members. The winning submission will receive a $200 cash prize to be spent on Foxhunting dues, hunt capping fees, Pony Club camp or anything related to these activities. Second Place: $100; Third Place $50. The winning entries will be published in Pony Club News and in The Chronicle of the Horse. The contest award is from a memorial fund established by friends of Mrs. Ritchie, who was a long-time Pony Club supporter and volunteer. She founded the Colorado Springs Pony Club in 1958 and was its District Commissioner for 30 years. She was Regional Supervisor of the Colorado (now Rocky Mountain) region for 12 years and hosted regional Pony Club camps on her ranch for 20 plus years. She served several terms as a USPC Governor and received the USPC Founders Award in 1989.

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