On November 9, 103 young hunt members took center stage at the 17th annual Junior North America Field Hunter Championships, which was held at the picturesque Old Whitewood Farm in The Plains, Virginia.
Qualifying meets were held all over North America, and countless juniors made it their mission to qualify for the prestigious finals.
The JNAFHC was founded in 2003 by Mrs. Douglas Wise Stuart and Mrs. Iona Pillion, with Marion Chungo and Michelle Arnold joining in to help organize the ever-expanding program. The program is a competition designed for junior riders of all ages and abilities to showcase their relationship with their mounts and their suitability for the sport. It also teaches children the importance of land conservation, allows them the opportunity to meet other young foxhunters from all across North America, and adds a fun element of competitiveness.
“I am extremely proud of today’s junior foxhunters,” said Chungo after the competition. “They are just wonderful and will take good care of foxhunting’s future and the beautiful land we want to preserve. Please always support our juniors!”
Sydney Pemberton, of Middleburg Hunt, won this year’s Lynda Johnston Perpetual Spirit Award. The award was created in memory of Johnston, who was a long-time member with Marlborough Hunt Club and Loudoun Fairfax and sadly passed away from cancer a few years ago. “Lynda always loved the junior members. She would do anything to help support and mentor the children in the hunt field,” said Heather Heider, one of Lynda’s friends who helped create the award, along with Lynda’s husband Bear and a few of their other hunting supporters.
“Sydney won the award this year because she’s very dedicated to the hounds and is always helping at the kennels,” said Heider, adding that the award highlights a junior who exhibits the joyful spirit of the sport.
Lydia Eifler, of Long Run Woodford Hounds, won the coveted Best Turned Out trophy, which was sponsored by Charles Owen.
For more information on the JNAFHC, visit www.jnafhc.com.
First Field - 13 and Over
Champion - Colby Poe - Hershey - Old Dominion Hounds
Reserve Champion - Gabriela Sacco - Tryon - Live Oak Hounds
3rd place - Tate Northrop - Jeffrey - Long Run Woodford Hounds
4th Place - Grace Schriner - Everdeen - Long Run Woodford Hounds
5th place - Lexi van der Woude - My Shooting Star - Warrenton Hunt
6th place - Kate Sanford - Mosey - Lowcountry Hunt
7th place - Lydia Eifler - Hans Christian - Long Run Woodford Hounds
8th place - Henry Nylen - Spryte - New Market - Middletown Valley Hounds
9th place - Ashleigh Currier - Quint - Belle Meade Hunt
10th place - Lillian Robinson - Jane - Warrenton Hunt
First Field - 12 and Under
Champion - Flora Hannum - Snickers - Orange County Hounds
Reserve Champion - Sam Dozier - Pinata - Belle Meade Hunt
3rd place - Ruby Dozier - Cole - Belle Meade Hunt
4th place - Emma Watson - Beretta - Live Oak Hounds
5th place - Clara Dart - Cracker Jack - Rappahannock Hunt
6th place - Amara Baker - Battalion - Hillsboro Hounds
7th place - Hayley Rees - Glock - Blue Ridge Hunt
8th place - Brad Bondi - Nick - Piedmont Fox Hounds
9th place - Sophie Barnes - Sam I Am - Old Dominion Hounds
10th place - Becca Scott - Dancer - Belle Meade Hunt
Hilltopper - 11 and Over
Champion - Josie Galvin - Priceless - Farmington Hunt Club
Reserve Champion - Garrity Buchanan - Missile - MOC Beagles
3rd place - Rachel Dillon - Star Power - Rappahannock Hunt
4th place - Barney Riley - Revelation - Rappahannock Hunt
5th place - Liam Campbell - Willy - Lake of Two Mountains
6th place - Charleigh Read - Leo The Lion - MOC Beagles
7th place - Margaret Ranier - Cape Savannah - Rolling Rock Hunt
8th place - Lexi Vinerskis - Miss Pepper Potts - Hamilton Hunt Club
9th place - Alayna Myers - Vinny - Belle Meade Hunt
10th place - Evan Dombrowsky - Claymore - Middleburg
Hilltopper - 10 and Under
Champion - Brynn Miller - Rocky Rocks - Potomac Hunt
Reserve Champion - Caroline Kuhnert - Fiona - Old Dominion Hounds
3rd place - Corwen Blair - Darty - Rappahannock Hunt
4th place - Sydney Pemberton - To the Moon and Back - Middleburg Hunt
5th place - Dayna Dillon - Jigsaw Puzzle - Rappahannock Hunt
6th place - Willson Lee Lawson - Inspector Gadget - Rappahannock Hunt
7th place - Clayton Heider VanPelt - Shenendoah Crayon - Loudoun Fairfax Hunt
8th place - Georgiana Runyan - Farnley's Firestorm - Middleburg Hunt
9th place - John Ryan - Willapaugh - Snickersville
10th place - Aiden Smith - Popsicle - Norfolk Hunt