Hunt clubs all across the country have begun holding their traditional Blessing of the Hounds as well as kicking off the formal season with their Opening Meets. Here are some of our favorite moments.
(Left to right) G. Daniel Jones-MFH (ret), Larry Pitts-Huntsman, and Dr. Daniel Temeles-MFH (ret) enjoying the view after Bedford County Hunt’s (VA) Opening Meet. Karen Kandra photo.
Belle Meade Hunt (GA) members jump a coop four abreast during the hunt’s 54th annual Opening Meet. Eric Bowles photo.
Bijou Springs members on the hunt for coyote in the rugged Colorado landscape during their 36th annual Opening Meet. Tracey Freeman Meissell photo.
Sarah McKay partnered with Sarah Martin’s Scarlett at Bridlespur Hunt Club’s Blessing of the Hounds in Eoilia, Missouri. Becky Bowling photo.
Bud, ridden by Hon. Whip Lee Deutsch and owned by Gene Deutsch MFH Bridlespur Hunt, investigates the Bridlespur Hunt Club (MO) hounds during their Opening Meet. Becky Bowling photo.
Junior Sammy Michel was all smiles aboard Hopwoods Winchester at Bull Run Hunt’s Opening Meet. Jessa McCartney photo.
Rev. Emily Dunevant, the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Goochland, Virginia, shares a special moment with Wonder, one of Deep Run Hunt’s hounds, at the hunt’s Opening Meet. “It is such a joy to do the blessing each year and this picture was the perfect representation of the morning,” said Rev. Dunevant, who is also a hunt member. Blake Sperow photo.
Dozens of members enjoyed a beautiful morning at the Elkridge Harford Opening Meet (MD). Robert Keller photo.
Set against the backdrop of the picturesque fall foliage of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Glenmore Hunt Club (VA) celebrated their 90th Opening Meet. This year was exceptionally special as the hunt was dedicated to 8-year-old Colton Kopcinski, a child of one of the members who sadly passed away this past summer from leukemia. Michele Carter photo.
Foxhunting is a family affair for many riders… and horses! At Keswick Hunt Club’s Opening Hunt, huntsman Paul Wilson discusses the day with Rosemarie Merle-Smith (left), her son-in-law Joel Merle-Smith, and her daughter Nicolette Merle-Smith. All three are riding their homebred Holsteiners. Shelley Payne photo.
Whipper-in Nicole Hatfield was named MVP of the Mecklenburg’s 63rd Opening Meet (NC) when a few new hounds decided the water was too cold to return to the pack, she went the extra mile! Mecklenburg Hounds photo.
“’Ware bear!” During Old Dominion’s Opening Meet (VA), a large black bear crossed an alley immediately after a field of riders passed through. Members nearby the trailers were treated to a great view, and luckily the hounds were running in the opposite direction. Cindy White photo.
Potomac Hunt Junior Brynn Miller was all business aboard Rocky at the hunt’s Opening Meet. Robert Keller photo.
Seventeen-year-old Cooper Batts, who’s been hunting since she was 6, and Dapper Dan deftly stone wall headed into a corn field at Red Mountain Hound’s Opening Meet in Rougemont, NC.
Rebecca Wolfe has been busy with her young family but was looking for ways to stay involved in with Potomac Hunt ... she decided to dress up her son Lachlan as a fox and bring him to the hunt's Opening Meet! "I had the help of his horse crazy sister, Willow (pictured), who's dying to hunt...although Mom needs to get back out first!" she said. Robert Keller photo.