Gary Riggs, MFH and Huntsman of the Red Mountain Hounds in North Carolina, carried the horn for this year's Carolinas Cup Field Trial, hosted by the Sedgefield Hunt in Hoffman, NC. Ten packs contributed five hounds each and 120 people from five different states attended. The first day offered ample opportunity for the judges, operating under the direction of Head Judge Ed Fry, to score hounds as they ran bobcat and then gray fox through the gameland drains, or lowlands, that break up the sandy pine forests. Sunday offered further chases on gray fox, until a coyote lured the pack into a hard chase out of the country.
Congratulations to Full Cry Hounds Huntsman and MFH, David Hyman, for winning the 2014 Sedgefield Cup for high-point pack honors, and to Lili Wykle, MFH, huntsman and Stonewall Hounds' first-year hound Clergy, for taking the top individual hound award.
As always, the Sedgefield team, under the able leadership of Fred Berry, MFH, and Field Trial Secretary Jan Sorrells,kept things running smoothly despite the high spirits of the attendees. Highlights of the weekend included the opportunity to renew friendships and further embellish stories, not to mention the annual contest for "Cutest Huntsman" won this year by De La Brooke West's Beth Dixon. (Criteria for this contest are a bit suspect - the crown has been awarded in prior years to huntsmen including George Harne and Gary Riggs. This year the contestants were required to demonstrate their horn-blowing talents on hunting horns specially crafted by Riggs out of plumbing pipe.) Many foxhunters make the Carolinas Cup a permanent fixture on their hunt season schedule, and it is easy to see why!