The 2nd Annual Maury River Hunter Trials was held April 2, 2011, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. Despite threatening weather, this lovely event attracted over 70 competitors, numerous tailgaters, sponsors, spectators, volunteers and judges to the rolling cross country fields of the Horse Center.
The event is run by the Virginia Horse Trials, headed by Brian and Penny Ross, in conjunction with the organizing committee of Donald Clark, Brooks Cushman, Henley Gabeau, Dr. M. Brent Hall, and Liz Kiss. Foxhunters themselves, the committee developed the hunter trials as a way to celebrate the end of the fox chasing season, to bring positive publicity to the sport, and to benefit the local hunt clubs. The committee plans for the hunter trials to be an annual event, with the 3rd running scheduled for April 7, 2012.
This year’s event was judged by Joy Crompton, Farmington Hunt’s MFH. The show offered something for everyone: over-fences classes for future hunters (“puddle jumpers”), second flight (2’6”) and first flight (3’); hunter on the flat classes, and a hilltoppers class. There were open and qualified foxhunter divisions, for those who hunted at least six times in the past season. Area hunt clubs represented included Glenmore, Rockbridge, Farmington, Middlebrook, Bedford and Stonewall, all of which vied for the Clifford J. Hunt Memorial prize: the most points accumulated by a hunt club.