Riders from 11 recognized hunts in the Mid-Atlantic region converged on Harrisburg on Monday for the annual Hunt Night Competition. The crowd cheered the terriers as they raced over miniature coops, and oogled the adorable shaggy hunting Bassets as they paraded with their staff from the Skycastle French Hounds of Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Keswick and Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Hounds battled to the end for the overall Hunt Night Championship title, with Keswick narrowly emerging on top. Keswick's Jill Wilson won the Under-35 Over Fences over 32 other riders with her Thoroughbred mount Apple, a son of top sire AP Indy, on her way to claiming the Leading Lady Rider title.
Sandy Rives and his 20 year old hunting partner Technician were making their 10th appearance at the Pennsylvania National, and it will be their last before the horse is retired out to pasture after 15 years in the hunt field. Sandy and Technician brought home a 2nd place in the Gentleman's Hunter Under Saddle and were part of the Keswick Hunt Teams that placed 3rd and 4th in the team jumping.
Cheshire's Stevie Hayes extended his string in the Gentleman's Hunter Under Saddle Class, and Cheshire's team ofjuniors outdid all of the seniors to gain top honors in the Hunt Teams class. Windy Hollow's Holly White and her mount Czelda Fitzgerald won the Ladies Hunter Under Saddle Class. Radnor's Rebekah Robinson took the blue in a competitive Field Hunters 36 & Over, on her consistent Ballaghmore Suite.
Other foxhound packs that participated in the competition included Green Spring Valley, Spring Valley, New Market - Middletown Valley, Rose Tree, Potomac, Elkridge - Harford and Beaufort. Piedmont's Neil Amatt won the horn-blowing championship.