On October 12, 24 finalists from all over the U.S. and Canada competed in the 31st annual Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship. The event was held at Glenwood Park in Middleburg, Virginia, as a prequel to the Virginia Fall Races. The popular event is judged according to the manners, style and suitability of foxhunting mounts, with judges being selected from various foxhunts.
At the end of the day, it was Kate Gilhool and Skye’s Limit from Elkridge-Harford Hunt (MD) who took home top honors. Radnor Hunt’s (PA) field master Lance Taylor rode his wife Debi’s horse Clifden and earned the reserve championship and also won Best Turned Out, which was judged by Leslie Hazel. Linden Ryan of Blue Ridge Hunt (VA) and Jocelyn Coles’ Thunderville rounded out the top three, as well as taking home the award for the best Thoroughbred presented by the Mackay-Smith family in honor of Dr. Matthew Page Mackay-Smith.
CHAMPION - Kate Gilhool and Skye's Limit, Elkridge Harford MD
RESERVE CHAMPION - Lance Taylor and Clifden, Radnor PA
3rd - Linden Ryan and Thunderville, Blue Ridge VA
4th - John Wittenborn and Socrates, Smithtown NY
5th - Shelly Talk and Riley, Moore County NC
6th - Liz Ricklefs and Idlehour Patriot, Elkridge Harford MD
7th - Carolyn Chapman and Beezie, Farmington VA
8th - Rebecca Morani and Jelly Apple, Wicomico MD
Best Turned Out
Champion - Lance Taylor and Clifden, Radnor PA
Reserve - Hannah Rogers Tucker and Athena's Secret, Loudoun Fairfax VA
Most Suitable Pair
Cathy Sweezey and Miss Molly, Live Oak FL
Jennifer Nesbit and Virginia Grace, Thornton Hill VA
Hunt With The Most Participants
Bull Run Hunt VA
Field Master Karen Nutt was commended on leading the participants during the mock hunt, as were judges Joy Crompton, Cameron Sadler, Becky Harris, Jennifer Webster, Kim Zimmerman and Beverly Bosselman, who dedicated several days to this competition. Organizer Karyn Wilson also received high praise for ensuring a smooth and successful event. The host hunts (Middleburg Hunt, Bull Run Hunt, Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Snickersville Hounds and Piedmont Fox Hounds) were also thanked for their wonderful week of sport leading up to the finals.
The Virginia Fall Races are always the second Saturday in October and the field hunter championships are held in the preceding week. Mark your calendars for 2020!