On Saturday, June 9, Red Mountain Hounds (NC) hosted an Obstacle Course Challenge fundraiser - and challenging it was! Obstacles included several Tractor Tires, a Tunnel, Bridges of multiple descriptions, Pool Noodles in various configurations, a pit full of crunchy water bottles, and some plastic barrels that had been fashioned into a sled that more closely resembles something that the Flintstones drove around.


The narrow bridge was an ambitious test. Christina Schooley photo.

We divided the obstacles among two fields and started horses simultaneously on both courses. Each rider was given a minute and a half at each obstacle. If they were unable to complete the obstacle in that amount of time, they were asked to move on. Judges were posted at each obstacle and scored each rider as they came through. Many of the horses were quite tolerant of the foolishness that we exposed them to, and a good time was had by all.


This looks like an important skill for foxhunters to master! Maddison Schooley photo.

After the last horse had survived both fields of fright, we allowed schooling for anyone that wanted a second chance at any of the challenges. We followed up the obstacle course with a round of hot dogs and lemonade while the scores were tallied. Ribbons were awarded to the top competitors, both adult and junior.

Most of the adults who garnered ribbons have experience in these competitions. The juniors, however are all members of RMH. The top junior was Ada Catherine Hays (who also happens to be the 2017 Pony Finals Medal Winner). Second place was one of our most active junior members – Maddison Schooley – who is often seen out hunting in the back pocket of whipper-in-extraordinaire and former Hunt Secretary, Carol Riggs. Third, fourth and fifth places went to Trey, Cooper and Kinley Batts who regularly represent RMH at the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships. We are always proud of our juniors, both in their willingness to participate and their conduct when representing our hunt.


This horse looks skeptical, but so far, so good. Maddison Schooley photo.

The Obstacle Course Challenge enabled us to reach out to a different group of equestrians, many of whom knew nothing of foxhunting. It is a fun type of event to host, and spectators – both those that know a thing or two about horses, and those that don’t have a clue - had a great time! The social time afterward was a lot of fun as well. We were able to get a few laughs at the riders that have more to work on, and compliments were heaped on the horses that were best behaved. All in all, it was a fun time for everyone that participated – Riders, Judges, and Spectators.

We have one more summer FUNd-raiser coming up on August 25 – a Moonlight Trail Ride. This has been met with great success for the past two years and we look forward to another way to beat the heat and meet new people. To learn more, visit Red Mountain Hounds website.

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