Red Rock Hounds' Summer Celebration of Hunting

Red Rocks 14 ParadeCourtesy Red Rock HoundsRed Rock Hounds has had a really busy summer which was kicked off with the Annual Red Rock Hounds Summer Show in June. This annual show is a great community show that offers a chance for the horse community to come together and has both a mini and a full derby class. The derby classes were a great opportunity to show off our wonderful horses, their skills and invite the community to try hunting. The was a great success with a solid turnout and great community building event for the horse and open space community.

We then hosted a great Summer Adult Camp.  Riders came in from in and out of state to ride with Red Rock twice a day for a week. Riders worked both in the arena to prepare for and then practice riding out across country to become better, more confident and secure riders. Plus riding out from Red Rock Hounds providing some amazing vistas and beautiful rides in open space. The group worked hard and really improved under the excellent instruction of Lynn Lloyd and Angela Murray.   

Sallie and the Tricksters

derek frenchLooney Tunes got it about right. The popular cartoons featuring Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner, depict the coyote as a scheming trickster constantly dreaming up new ways to capture his prey. The term Coyote is derived from the Aztec word Coyotl which means "Trickster". On film, the coyote consistently fails in his efforts. In real life, the outcome is often very different. But, don't be concerned, this anecdote has a happy ending.

Sallie, one of our Jack Russells, can attest to the extent to which coyotes live up to their reputation. The nocturnal calls, howls and yips of a coyote pack are part of country living where we spend the warmer months up north. When the winter winds howl, my wife and I program the GPS unit to guide us south. Our destination is the west coast of Florida where we have a home in a golfing community. There we expect to leave behind the fauna of the north and enjoy the change in wildlife in the pleasant sub-tropics. But, it seems, we are not the only snowbirds, or should I say, the snow mammals, for whom the warm breezes of the Gulf of Mexico act like a magnet. Yes, you got it, coyotes appreciate the warmth of the south too.

Fancy Meeting You Here: Montana Hunt Weekend Delivers Fun and Friendship

MT pic dJoy Smith photoFor many of us, especially those on the East Coast, hunting has been more of a non event since the New Year, largely thwarted by snow and ice. When you were able to dig out your trailer, ground conditions were so bad we surely would have upset our landowners, so a trip to join Red Rock Hounds in Montana sounded like a great idea!

Lynn Lloyd’s Red Rock Hounds have been making the trek to Montana for the last 13 years and this expedition was exceptional in so many ways. Lynn’s view is the more the merrier and she reaches out to all that come to cap with her with warmth and genuine interest.  

This year we had a field of 65 riders, and at least 20 supporters who met at Renee and Kale Mantle’s Ranch just outside Three Forks (near Bozeman). These hard working folks run a dude ranch and were able to supply horses for the field. After watching the antics of foxhunters for many years, Renee decided to try this sport for herself, and with some of Lynn and Angela’s older hounds, has formed Big Sky Hounds.

From the Hunt Field to the Winners Circle

Haynes and Hot RizePhoto Courtesy Russell HaynesIf you have been out with any number of Virginia’s hunt clubs this season, you may have recognized the black horse that was the winner of Virginia steeplechasing’s richest purse on May 3. Although he flew under the radar at 10-1 odds, Hot Rize flew under the wire in the Virginia Gold Cup ¾ lengths to the good. He snared the win for a partnership made up entirely of fox hunters -- appropriate for a horse who might never have had a career if it hadn’t been for the hunt field.

Owned by Holston Hall, a partnership managed by The Plains resident Russell Haynes, Hot Rize struggled early in his career to settle. Always a talented horse, the son of Sultry Song would work like a stakes horse at the farm and then let his nerves get the better of him on race day. Despite showing ability, he couldn’t seem to win a race. Until Haynes, who also trains the horse, decided to send him to Tennessee-based Karen Gray.

Step Through the Tack Room Door

Derek tack room by Karen MonroeMiddleburg PhotoIt's a smell you never forget; the aroma of a well-kept tack room. It is unmistakable. The pleasant atmosphere softens the soul, relaxes the senses, stimulates pleasant memories and encourages a feeling of camaraderie, with your fellow riders and your equine friends.

I was reminded of this recently when I made a trip back into the past. I visited the outbuildings of the farm on which I was raised. The stables were no longer home to horses and were now used for storage. But the tack room seemed empty and when I pressed the old-style latch, the door swung open with ease. The moment my foot dropped down to an unusually deep step into the room, I was taken back a life-time of years. That abrupt step down had caused many a visitor to stumble. Not I, for my memory cells immediately beeped a warning from long ago.  The little dark tack room came swimming up to the surface of my mind and I felt right back at home.

An Eastern Foxhunter Heads West

Eastern FH Goes West 1I was so eager to get out of snowy Maryland for my California foxhunting weekend, that I forgot to take all the whipper-in ratshot bullets out of my hacking jacket, which I was wearing on the plane to save suitcase weight. So, as you can imagine, there was a minor incident after I went through security at BWI. Embarrassed and a little worried, my hound training explanation was me with blank stares. Luckily, a nice agent told me to go back, throw them out and come back! I happily complied! After missing our connection in Salt Lake City, we finally made it to Los Angeles via Las Vegas and found my daughter, Sarah. It was so warm and lovely it was hard to believe we were on the same planet as the frozen East Coast.

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