A Day with the Golden’s Bridge Hounds (Part 1. Part 2 appears in the winter issue of Covertside)
Each year representatives from the hunting elite of America, Europe and Australasia meet up to discuss issues, problems and developments that affect our sport and to learn from each other what new legislation, disease or animal rights initiative threatens our freedom to hunt with hounds. Each country benefits from the sharing of knowledge. Where possible, we take a little time off from reporting and debating, to experience at first hand the cultural and other values that both define and unite us globally in mounted hunting. In September 2012, it was America’s turn to host meetings of the International Union of Hunting with Hounds (IUHH) and delegates from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Ireland and New Zealand congregated in Leesburg, VA to take part. Australia did not send a delegate this year, but did provide a report and several written submissions.
The New Zealand delegation, having furthest to travel and the most extreme jetlag to contend with, were first to arrive in America and having availed of the opportunity to spend a couple of days in the “Big Apple” were able to get an extra day's hunting at the invitation of The Golden’s Bridge Hunt in New York State.
The meet was at Windswept Farm, the home of Senior Master Gene Colley and his wife Lois. When we arrived at 6:15am on Tuesday September 25th there was a nip in the air with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees, but our thoughtful host was standing by with hot coffee laced with Jameson Whiskey. The cold abated and the first shard of light broke in the eastern sky. Our Kiwi visitors were matched up with quality horses from the Colley stables.