Hark Forward Kicks Off at Fox River Valley & Massbach Hounds

[Editor's Note: Hark Forward is a celebration of our community including foxhound performance trials, hunter trials, and joint meets planned through the 2016-2017 season. In addition to building camaraderie, the Hark Forward initiative supports fundraising toward renovation of the MFHA headquarters building in Middleburg, Virginia, which will be an innovative resource to promote our sport.]

I met Boo Montgomery, professional whipper-in at Bull Run Hunt (VA) and one of the weekend's judges, at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and we checked out each other’s season-opening bumps and bruises. I am sporting a ridiculous black eye from a tree branch lashing yesterday and her fingers are orange from working on sore hooves. We will be right at home with the foxhunters from Fox River Valley and Massbach Hounds (IL), which is where we are headed for the first stop of the MFHA Hark Forward  celebration. Tony Leahy, the current MFHA president, is hosting the kick-off for the tour with a Performance Trial in Elizabeth, Illinois. As a diehard Virginian-Marylander I was thinking, “Who hunts in Illinois?” but I have been assured it is God’s country, so Boo is here to judge and I am helping with the Hark Forward team. Epp Wilson, Master and huntsman of Belle Meade Hunt  (GA), and Jean Derrick, first flight fieldmaster, who had driven 16 hours from Georgia yesterday with 10 horses, were already settled at Massbach’s kennels. The adventure begins.

Hunt Clubs Shine Under the Lights at Pennsylvania National Horse Show

Hunt clubs held the spotlight on Monday night at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show during Hunt Night, one of the most popular events of the Show. Sewickley Hunt in Sewickley, PA, located just outside Pittsburgh, claimed the top three placings in the first event of the evening, the Field Hunter - Riders 35 Years of Age and Under class. Two Hunt Team members captured the top three ribbons: Mary Dubois rode Stonewall to first and second place with Flagmount Clover and Cindy McCullough was third with Summer Blueprint.

Eleven Hunts Contest Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials

The Piedmont Fox Hounds beat the hurricane-induced bad weather and hosted the second annual Field Hunter Trials on September 27, 2015. The event is a hybrid, a throw-back, to the hunter trials and horse shows of old where presentation, style and performance looked to the hunt field. Foxhunters were brushed, bathed and braided. Tweeds pulled from the cedar closet and accessorized by appointments including hunt whips, flasks and sandwich cases. Hunt buttons polished and colorful stocks and cravats tied neatly. And of course, the hospitality left no one, human or equine, wanting for a snack or a drink!

A New Challenge: Ride in "War Horse" Country

Flying across the pond to take part in a brand new long-distance riding pilot event takes a bit of what we Brits call ‘gumption.’ But three American riders did exactly that last month (25-28 Sept) to help launch the Dartmoor Derby in Devon, England.

Inspired by the widespread interest in the daring Mongol Derby and the enduring success of African riding safaris, the Dartmoor Derby is not a race itself but a multi-day challenge ride. It’s a chance to explore fully some of Britain’s best-loved countryside in luxury, in small groups of not more than six, led by guides who know the country intimately, for anywhere between three and six days.

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