Children bring a special excitement and levity to the hunt field, and at age seven, Sophia Martin of Lowcountry Hunt (SC) is an experienced rider and occasional staff member. Though only in second grade, she has already helped hunt hounds with such esteemed huntsmen as Martyn Blackmore at Lowcountry, Tot Goodwin of Green Creek Hounds (NC) and William Dunne of Middleton Place Hounds (SC). She recently received Lowcountry's Junior of the Year Award.
Lowcountry Hunt Junior of the Year, Sophia Martin.
Joint Master Kim Ziemke Ackerman said, "Our Junior of the Year award goes to a junior that has been very active in all aspects of hunting - not just showing up to hunt. Such as offering to help the huntsman, Masters and staff with anything that needs to be done, attending work days, walking out hounds and attending hound shows. And we want someone who is a good steward to our sport."
Ackerman continued, "Sophie was awarded this honor this year because she excelled in all those areas. We at Lowcountry have been blessed to watch Sophie hunt with us for the past four years, starting when she was four. Her love and enthusiasm for the sport shines through the smile that she always has on her face when she is riding with the hounds. Sophie is the epitome of the future of our sport and Lowcountry Hunt is very lucky to have her as one of our most treasured members."
ECovertside asked Sophie to answer a few questions, and we think it's best to let her responses speak for themselves (see images below).
Sophie's mother, Shanna Mauldin, noted that Sophie helped her whip-in toward the end of this season, softly calling hounds, and while she is a bit bashful about blowing the horn, she produces a pretty good call! In addition to receiving Junior of the Year, Sophie also earned her colors, and last November, she represented Lowcountry at the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships. She's also earned the MFHA's Fairly Hunted Award three times - so far.
We wish Sophie many more seasons of good sport!