Belle Meade Performance Trials: Beginners' Luck, or Great Hounds?

January 19th and 20th marked the 16th annual Belle Meade Performance Trials, as well as the seventh performance trials of the Hark Forward initiative. Six hunts and 42 hounds entered, including two hunts competing in performance trials for the first time. Midland Fox Hounds (GA), Bull Run Hunt (VA) and, of course, Belle Meade Hunt (GA) represented the “returning royalty” for this annual event. Newcomers were the Saxonburg Hunt of Saxonburg, PA and Aiken, SC, and Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC).

A Huntsman Reflects on Inaugural Drag Performance Trials

As the huntsman of a nearly 100-year-old drag pack in the Pacific Northwest, Woodbrook Hunt Club (WA), I was honored to have the chance to hunt with Belle Meade Hunt (GA) and judge the Drag Performance Trials organized by Aiken Hounds (SC) in Belle Meade's hunt country. Traveling from Seattle-Tacoma International airport to Augusta, Georgia took up an entire day, but the journey was eased when we settled in with our very welcoming hosts, Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade, Judith Craw, and the farm dogs Marty, Gracie, and Dusty at Wilson's Foxboro Farm.

Tejon Hounds Host Thrilling Performance Trials

The Hark Forward initiative invites foxhunters across the continent to join together and strengthen our community, no matter geographic distance, style of hunting, type of country, or nature of quarry. Tejon Hounds' (CA) Performance Trials last week were an outstanding example of interstate camaraderie, rivalry, education, and plain thrilling hunting in the vast open territory of the Tejon Ranch. Hounds from Red Rock Hounds (NV), Big Sky Hounds (MT), Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), Santa Fe West Hills Hunt (CA) competed, and Juan Tomas (CA) brought hounds for one day of Tejon's hunt week.

A Huntsman Reflects, Part Two

Jennifer Hansen, Woodbrook Hunt (WA) huntsman, concludes her report on judging at the Drag Performance Trials earlier this year in Georgia. She was particularly impressed by the special challenges of laying the scent line so that judges would have opportunities to observe and score hounds through the day.

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.

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