Seventeen youngsters had a great time at the May 13th Junior Handlers Hound Show, hosted by Keswick Hunt Club (VA) on the grounds of historic Montpelier. Entries represented Keswick, Farmington (VA), and the Farmington Beagles (VA). Hounds, beagles, children and spectators alike enjoyed a friendly competition, with a little education about presenting hounds and learning horn calls. Judges Charles Montgomery, huntsman at Bull Run, Elizabeth "Boo" Montgomery, and Charlotte D. Buttrick, ex-MFH, MBH, assisted by Ring Steward Barclay Rives, were cheerfully patient and good-natured through the afternoon, often giving advice and demonstrating correct technique to the juniors.
The judges watched this exhibitor move her hound out.
Handlers in the Age 6 and Under class had the option of showing Farmington beagles, graciously brought by joint Masters Buttrick and Forbes Reback.
This first-time handler began the day cautiously, but showed her hound to a second place finish, and a big smile.
A junior watches intently as Montgomery shares tips on standing her hound up properly.
His fellow horn blowing contestants look skeptical.
"He did it!"
About a dozen competitors entered the horn blowing contest, with each asked to blow "Moving Off" and "Gone Away." Look for these young riders to identify those calls in the field next fall!
In addition to three age divisions in the ring, the judges evaluated a modified, but somewhat freewheeling, pack class in the infield of the Montpelier steeplechase course. The conditions for this class allowed three or four couple, shown by the adult huntsman or staff member, with two juniors acting as whippers-in. The same pack could be shown multiple times with different children whipping-in. It was a duel between the Farmington hounds and Farmington beagles, with the officials ultimately unable to select one winner and so declaring a tie for first place.