By Brayden Jones, junior member, Keswick Hunt Club. Photo: Delegate Nick Freitas, center, met with junior riders from the Old Dominion Hounds and Keswick Hunt Club before recognizing Keswick’s 125th anniversary in chambers with a proclamation on Friday Feb. 11 by Rachel Jones

Members from Keswick, Deep Run, Glenmore, Old Dominion, and Farmington Hunt Clubs went to Richmond, on Feb. 11, to meet with state senators and delegates about the importance of mounted hunting with hounds in Virginia. We met with Senators Peake, Hanger, Stuart and Deeds, delegates John McGuire, Nick Freitas, Chris Runion, Rob Bell, Buddy Fowler, Michael Webert and Lee Ware. We talked to them about the sport and how we can keep it alive in the state of Virginia for generations to come.

After meeting with delegates and senators, everyone was invited to watch a hound demonstration outside the state capitol building in Bell Tower Park. The Keswick Hunt Club Huntsman, Paul Wilson and his wife, Yvonne Wilson, brought two couples (four hounds). There, Keswick Hunt Club members Mary Kalergis talked about the history of the Keswick Hunt Club, Rachel Jones spoke about land conservation and making sure that development doesn’t expand into Keswick Hunt Club Territory. Junior member, Mia Valdez, spoke on behalf of the juniors of Keswick Hunt Club. She said, “no land, no fox hunting.”

Then, MFHA’s Director of Hunting Andrew Barclay said, “To see these children out here talking to lawmakers is a wonderful thing.” Delegates Sally Hudson and Wendy Gooditis also said a few words about the sport.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Keswick Hunt Club, everyone was invited to sit in the gallery of the House of Delegates and were recognized by Delegate Rob Bell.

Thank you to Michael Pearson for organizing such an amazing day educating youth about how the government works in the Commonwealth of Virginia and helping us promote our sport.

Read more here.