"You Feel Like You Could Run Forever:" Hark Forward Finds the Prairie, Petroglyphs, and More

Editor's Note: Jean Derrick of Belle Meade Hunt (GA) has worked tirelessly through the past year as the Honorary Secretary of the Hark Forward Hound Performance Trials, chaired by Belle Meade Master Epp Wilson. One month ago, she and nearly a dozen friends set off from Georgia for a celebratory tour of Plains and Western hunts. In this report, she describes the sport, scenery, and socializing in Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

At this moment, I and two friends, with a fully loaded four-horse trailer, are speeding down arrow-straight roads over the prairie, caravanning with two other big rigs. We have 12 people and 18 horses in all. It’s snowing, and the ground is lightly dusted.

Penn-Marydels Overcome Windy Conditions at Wicomico Performance Trial

The latest MFHA Hark Forward Hound Performance Trial, hosted by Wicomico Hunt in Chestertown, Maryland, started in a whirlwind. Literally, Winter Storm Riley brought wind gusts over 70 mph, which resulted in travel restrictions on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and overturned tractor trailers that closed I-95 to the north. Many participants were delayed more than a day with the high winds and traffic problems. Jan Sorrells, MFH, Sedgefield Hunt (NC), and I, representing Bull Run Hunt (VA) and Marlborough Hunt (MD), two of the five judges, had decided to come a day early due to the wind warnings.

Belle Meade Performance Trials: Beginners' Luck, or Great Hounds?

January 19th and 20th marked the 16th annual Belle Meade Performance Trials, as well as the seventh performance trials of the Hark Forward initiative. Six hunts and 42 hounds entered, including two hunts competing in performance trials for the first time. Midland Fox Hounds (GA), Bull Run Hunt (VA) and, of course, Belle Meade Hunt (GA) represented the “returning royalty” for this annual event. Newcomers were the Saxonburg Hunt of Saxonburg, PA and Aiken, SC, and Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC).

A Huntsman Reflects on Inaugural Drag Performance Trials

As the huntsman of a nearly 100-year-old drag pack in the Pacific Northwest, Woodbrook Hunt Club (WA), I was honored to have the chance to hunt with Belle Meade Hunt (GA) and judge the Drag Performance Trials organized by Aiken Hounds (SC) in Belle Meade's hunt country. Traveling from Seattle-Tacoma International airport to Augusta, Georgia took up an entire day, but the journey was eased when we settled in with our very welcoming hosts, Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade, Judith Craw, and the farm dogs Marty, Gracie, and Dusty at Wilson's Foxboro Farm.

Tejon Hounds Host Thrilling Performance Trials

The Hark Forward initiative invites foxhunters across the continent to join together and strengthen our community, no matter geographic distance, style of hunting, type of country, or nature of quarry. Tejon Hounds' (CA) Performance Trials last week were an outstanding example of interstate camaraderie, rivalry, education, and plain thrilling hunting in the vast open territory of the Tejon Ranch. Hounds from Red Rock Hounds (NV), Big Sky Hounds (MT), Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), Santa Fe West Hills Hunt (CA) competed, and Juan Tomas (CA) brought hounds for one day of Tejon's hunt week.

A Huntsman Reflects, Part Two

Jennifer Hansen, Woodbrook Hunt (WA) huntsman, concludes her report on judging at the Drag Performance Trials earlier this year in Georgia. She was particularly impressed by the special challenges of laying the scent line so that judges would have opportunities to observe and score hounds through the day.

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