Nevada’s spectacular western terrain provided a striking backdrop for all who traveled far to share in the adventure of the April 2nd-7th Western States Joint Meet, hosted by Lynn Lloyd and Angela Murray at Ross Creek Ranch near Reno. Over 80 huntsmen, riders, family, friends, and photographers representing 11 hunts and the MFHA shared five days of warm western hospitality while bonding over some hot Nevada-style hunting.
Some of the scores of riders representing several Western hunts (led by Renee Daniels-Mantle, MFH, Big Sky Hounds, on gray) enjoyed another fabulous day of hunting at the Rancho Haven Fixture. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
Unplanned, but unique to this meet, every hunt was to be steered by one of a quartet of huntswomen who represented some of the best clubs and packs of hounds in the west. These ladies in red hailed from Montana’s Big Sky Hounds, California’s Santa Ynez Valley Hounds, Woodbrook Hunt Club in Washington, and Red Rock Hounds.
Woodbrook Hunt huntsman Jennifer Hansen leads the way out by the ponds on Ross Creek. Rocks and water are a big part of the landscape in this special valley. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
The four passionate huntswomen clearly were keen to provide the large combined field with outstanding sport! Yet, since they would be hunting at different fixtures over varied unfamiliar terrain, the unselfish support and encouragement they received from all of the participants ensured that they, fellow huntsmen, hounds, riders, road crew and photographers experienced a truly magnificent week of hunting in this stirring western venue! That tangible “team spirit” and goodwill quickly became the hallmark of an action-packed collective endeavor.
An enthusiastic group at the last day of hunting during the Western States Joint Meet and the closing hunt for Red Rock Hounds. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
Adding to this, the incredible Nevada landscape provided a picture-perfect background that vividly highlighted the dramatic and animated hunt scenes of eager packs of hounds, driven by their inborn spirit and honed skills, tracking tirelessly ahead of keen huntsmen, fit horses and enthusiastic hunt fields.
The Santa Ynez Valley Hounds from California in full cry. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
When speaking with these dedicated women it also became clear that they all shared a real desire to learn from and be inspired by the rare opportunity to ride with so many other gifted and veteran foxhunting experts and enthusiasts! Afterwards these first-rate ladies in red all took their time to reexamine the experience and review, relive and recount each moment and hound that had played a part in their hunts.
Big Sky Hounds Master and huntsman Renee Daniels-Mantle and her pack. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
The exceptional drive and alliance that these professional huntswomen shared when leading the individual hunts combined with the truly eye-popping scenery made the 2019 Western States Joint Meet an undeniably once-in-a-lifetime picture-perfect rally.
Red coats and wide open space: Red Rock Hounds with Master Angela Murray in Hungry Valley. Photo by Nancy Stevens-Brown.
Yours in sport,
Editor's Note: Like so many of our wonderful, generous, sporting photographers, Nancy Stevens-Brown graciously shares her beautiful photos with the Covertside Online and the greater hunting community. She notes that those who enjoy these images may consider making a donation to support:
The Red Rock Hounds Foundation
25 Spoke Road.