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!
New this year, the event was held at Piedmont Master Shelby Bonnie’s Salem Farm in rings that are home to the venerated Upperville Horse Show. Hilltopper divisions and flat classes were held in the Grand Prix Ring and all jumping classes on the Grand Prix Field. Belle Gray Farm once again provided inviting jumps for the contest.
With strong competitive fields, judges Snowden Clarke, E. Sue Bopp, Rose Marie Bogley, Jimmy Hatcher and Pam Covington had tough decisions.
Members from eleven recognized hunts – Piedmont Fox Hounds, Casanova Hunt, Keswick, Snickersville, Old Dominion Hounds, Loudoun Fairfax Hunt, Middleburg Hunt, River Hills Foxhounds, Thornton Hill, Orange County Hounds, and Bull Run Hunt - came to bring home the glory of The Hunt Challenge Cup. The Cup was claimed at the end of the day by hosts Piedmont Fox Hounds.
The Huntland Cup, donated by Dr. Betsee Parker, was awarded to Old Welbourne Farm’s Diester 1Z ridden by Haley Alcock in the Piedmont Fox Hounds Derby. Diester 1Z also claimed Grand Champion Hunter and Leading Lightweight Hunter. The Hunter Pairs presented by Cowgill Estate Management was won by the River Hills Foxhounds: Theo ridden by Collin Reynolds, and Fortune ridden by Tifanny Catledge,
Champions of the divisions, with their hunts follow:
Pony Hunter: Meadow Fox Jubilation, ridden and owned by Allison Nicely, Loudoun Fairfax Hunt
Junior Hunter: Belfast Lad, ridden and owned by Nancy Alcock, Piedmont Fox Hounds
Junior Hilltopper: Sea Lion, ridden by Caroline Rooney and owned by Nancy Dillon, Piedmont Fox Hounds
Adult Hilltopper: Neville, owned and ridden by Kathleen Lyons, Casanova Hunt
Low Hunter: Bailey, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Steve Lyons, ridden by Tom Mansmann, Old Dominion Hounds
Adult Amateur: Foggy Dew, owned and ridden by Will Coleman, Keswick Hunt
Open Hunter: VFE Nitto, owned and ridden by Stephen Stienhoff
Sidesaddle Hunter: Quest, owned by Cherry Blossom Farm and ridden by Devon Zebrovious, Middleburg Hunt
The leading junior rider was Beverly Alcock; adult Will Coleman, and professional Tom Mansmann.
Special awards were presented to the best turned out: junior Ellia Guliani, adult Collin Reynolds, and professional Tom Mansmann.
Neville, owned by Kathleen Lyons, was the Leading Heavyweight Hunter.
The Piedmont Fox Hounds thank everyone, competitors, spectators and sponsors, who came to the Hunter Trials for another wonderful day in the country.