Pony Club Hunt With Woodbrook Hunt Club
Ears Flapping, Pigtails Bouncing, And Celtic Hoof Beats
The consistent rain, cold weather and gloom that has followed us well into spring looked like trouble for our annual pony club hunt. Woodbrook Hunt Club, southwest of Tacoma, Washington, invited the clubs from our northwest region after we gave them a hand holding clinic at the NW Conference for United States Pony Club. From the early morning rustle of horses moving about in the barn, the weather broke into sunshine and blue sky. We all marveled at the beauty of the crisp morning and knew that we were being smiled upon. It was March 19th and nine pony clubs with a head count of seventy lined up to hear the Master, Jean Brooks, give our welcoming speech. With a cry of “release the hounds”, thirteen and one half couples leaped over mud puddles with their ears in flight to see who would have the hole shot to reach the MFH first.
The scent was laid through our hunter trials course and the five flights heard the hounds give tongue on the line, lifting music to the air. Our gallop across the prairie with the Celtic thunder of hooves shaking the ground made me proud to be passing the tradition of the hunt to our future members. Through the old growth trees that cover our Kellogg Run, our pack continued over a moss carpet that reminded us of Alice In Wonderland.
The car caravan met us there and watched us sail over the last couple of fences. Red-cheeked smiles from ear to ear, pony clubbers shared candy bars and water from their sandwich cases and the rest of us reached for our flasks.
As we returned to our Woodbrook club house, we all had a wonderful Irish breakfast prepared by our members in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The noise level raised by decibels as we had stories to share in show-and-tell form . We are truly blessed to be allowed to hunt on the Fort Lewis McCord base of 40,000 acres. Our photographer, Andy Towell, produced a slide show of the pictures he took of the occasion and let us relive the moment over again.
The pony clubs participating were: Bainbridge Island, Baywood, Cascade Reins, Carbon River, Hilander, Lincoln Creek, Skagit Valley, Whatcom County, and Woodbrook Hunt.
— Linda Hagerman is chair of USPC’s Foxhunting Committee.