Woodbrook Hunt Club hosted a great educational weekend put on by Col. Dennis Foster, Executive Director and author of “Whipper In”; Andrew Barclay, a 27-year professional huntsman and author of “Letters to a Young Huntsman” and Tony Leahy, MFH and huntsman of his own hunt. Leahy and Barclay run the Professional Development Program for the MFHA Foundation. The purpose of the seminar was to see if the MFHA can go out to individual hunts and help them in any way. We can report they are up to the task and was a wonderful experience for all, from the youngest pony clubber to the most experienced staff!
The weekend kicked off the weekend on Friday with a mounted hound exercise, giving the three instructors a chance to look over MFH and Huntsman Jean Brooks’ hounds and ride the Joint Base Lewis McChord Army and Air Force reservation. A kennel inspection followed with kennelperson Meggie Elledge, followed by dinner with MFH Jean Brooks, Jt. Masters Mike Wager, Melody Fleckenstein and RJ West at the “Huntbox,” where the gentleman stayed for the weekend, and a tour of the neighboring equestrian properties.
Saturday, Woodbrookers were up bright and early for a hunt. Dennis, Andrew and Tony rotated among the huntsman, whips, field masters and members, providing very valuable feedback to all. This was followed by a hunt breakfast in the clubhouse, and an afternoon of education with slides and handouts for all members of the hunt. This broke up to watch the Belmont Stakes, and we followed up with a dinner party, with a 122-pound roasted pig as the centerpiece.
Sunday was get down to WHC business, and Dennis, Andrew and Tony took Jean and a group of whips on an early morning hound walk. After, staff attended a critique of the hunt, and a lively question-and answer-session followed. We were given specific recommendations in multiple areas, all with the purpose of really enriching our hunting experience for the hounds and staff as well as the members. We are looking forward to putting those recommendations in place, and have a promise from Andrew that he will try and come and hunt with us this fall. Thanks to the MFHA for allowing us to be the test case for this new idea, we heartily suggest you keep it up!
Woodbrook Hunt is located in Lakewood, WA and will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. It hunts on Joint Base Lewis McChord, and has a pack of 13 couple of American foxhounds, and approximately 75 members.