The Affirmation

[Editor's Note: Belle Meade Hunt (GA) recently hosted Tennessee Valley Hunt (TN) for a weekend of back-to-back joint meets with their combined packs. Gretchen Pelham shared this reflection on the myriad elements that make up the joys of our sport.] What a day! I arrived at 11:30 last night - six and a half hours instead of four hours. Now, Siri always thinks that I can drive to visit Judith Craw and Epp Wilson, Belle Meade MFH, in Georgia in four hours, but I know better. There is a little place called downtown Atlanta that Siri just ignores.

Gallery of Holiday and Opening Meets

From sunny Florida to snowy Colorado, foxhunting enthusiasts celebrated special days on the sporting calendar over the last month. Warmer climates hosted opening meets, riders dressed up for Boxing Day meets, and in colder areas, devoted staff made sure hounds went out for exercise, no matter the weather. Enjoy this gallery of the many different ways foxhunters come together as a community.

Hillsboro Hark Forward Performance Trial Sets Records

"On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again, the life I love is going foxhunting with my friends, I can’t wait to get on the road again...." Apologies to Willie Nelson - we love foxhunting. We love visiting and hunting with other clubs. And we especially enjoy Hound Performance Trials. We get to see lots of great hounds in action. And we get to see lots of friends, old and new, from lots of hunts, all at one place. I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve been to Hillsboro Hounds’ and Cedar Knob Hounds’ Tennessee hunt country – a half dozen or so – but enough times for it to be very familiar to me. This time was for the Hark Forward Hound Trial, hosted by Hillsboro Hounds.

Middleburg Academy Hosts Middleburg Hunt

In November, Middleburg Hunt (VA) met at Middleburg Academy and both riding and nonriding students enjoyed the day with hounds. Joining the hunt for the day were Salem Twiggs '20 and her father, MFHA Executive Director David Twiggs; sisters Beverly '20 and Nancy '18 Alcock with their dad Graham; Robin Peterson '18; Sophie Horn '18; equestrian coach Jennifer Lee; and faculty member Kasey Morris.

Red Rock Hounds Holds Invitational Carriage Drive and Hunt

On October 21, Red Rock Hounds (NV) hosted their first Invitational Carriage Drive and Hunt in picturesque Rancho Haven, nestled at the foot of Nevada’s rugged 8,000-foot Mt. Petersen range. Hunt member Carrie Barrett, who drives and rides, had invited members of the carriage driving community to join the hunt to become horse-drawn spectators. The brisk day began with horses being saddled, while an elegant Irish Draft, flashy Haflinger, sporty Welsh ponies and an adorable VSE (very small equine) mini horse stood quietly waiting to be harnessed to carts and carriages.

Bull Run Talisman Named Champion at Bull Run - Rappahannock Performance Trial

A bittersweet moment began the weekend at the Hark Forward Bull Run - Rappahannock (VA) Performance Trial. The kick-off competitors cocktail party started with a toast to the late great Benjamin Hardaway III. It had been announced that he had passed earlier in the day and Epp Wilson, MFH Belle Meade Hunt (GA), was moved to tears as he recalled their long friendship and the great gifts Mr. Hardaway had given to foxhunting in North America. Without a doubt Mr. Hardaway’s legacy is felt in almost every foxhunt in America. There will be many stories told about this grand gentleman and I am sure that this night he was enjoying the many toasts that were made to his memory.

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