Celebrating That Special Horse
Results from Central and MidSouth District Results:
Reports give Sally Crane Cox (Central) and Carla Babcock (MidSouth) PC PCs David Traxler
Report from the Central District: Results are listed here
It was a sunny, crisp autumn morning when competitors from Miami Valley Hunt (OH), Rocky Fork Headley Hunt (OH), Sewickley Hunt (PA), and Waterloo Hunt (MI) faced off in the Central District competition on October 16. Meg Guilot, MFH, Sewickley Hunt, and her handsome chestnut, Sam, were crowned the champion pair in an Appointments division, which featured beautifully turned-out competitors on immaculately groomed mounts in traditional tack, from string girths to divided sandwich cases. While the Appointments class was run as a separate, stand-alone division, and the points earned would not be applied toward the other mounted phases, it was an opportunity to celebrate the deeply held traditions of foxhunting and the importance of turn-out.
The Field Hunter jumping (Hunter) division followed, with both junior and adult competitors participating first in a flat class and then in a mock hunt over rolling terrain, natural jumps, and coops, in and out of woods and streams. These phases were followed by an individual competition that included opening and closing a gate while mounted, ponying another horse, and other tests. The Hunter division was followed by a Hilltopper group, again with juniors and adults vying head-to-head and the horses judged on suitability, rideability, and ability as foxhunters.
The Central District was fortunate to have procured the services of two judges who brought years of experience in the foxhunting field: Andrew Barclay, director of hunting and director of the Professional Development Program for the MFHA, who served for 20 years as professional huntsman for Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD); and Tiffany Teeter, Honorary MFH of Amwell Valley Hounds (NY) and former hunter/jumper judge. The qualifier event was organized by a team of Rocky Fork Headley Hunt volunteers capably led by long-time member and former board President Kathleen Rigg.
The four Central District horse-and-rider combinations who will compete in the national finals next year were led by two young riders with Rocky Fork Headley Hunt: in the Hunter division, Grace Robertson, 19, on her spirited OTTB, Indy Afternoon; and in the Hilltopper division, Anna Sterling, 13, on her grandmother’s bay pony, Pistol. Reserve Champions in each division were Kellyn Burtka on Harmony For Holls, riding for Waterloo Hunt (Hunter division); and Cari Miller from Rocky Fork on Willow (Hilltopper).
Report from the MidSouth District: Results are listed here.
The Midsouth MFHA qualifier took place on Sunday, October 16 at Dr. Jack Van Nagell‘s beautiful Boone Valley Farm in Lexington Kentucky, hosted by the Iroquois Hunt. Mounted judges for the day included Charles Montgomery, MFH Mells Foxhounds, Ryan Johnsey, MFH Tennessee Valley Hunt, Alison Volpentesta, Joyce Brinsfield, with appointments and Best Turned Out judged by Ginny Howard.
Twenty-four competitors participated, impeccably turned out and representing the Iroquois Hunt, Camargo Hunt, Long Run Woodford Hounds, Mells Foxhounds, Keeneland Pony Club (KY), and Cedar Knob Pony Club (TN).
The four MidSouth District horse-and-rider combinations who will compete in the national finals next year were First Flights Kristin Vanmeter on Hardesty from Iroquois Hunt and Hilltopper and Benny Bell Williams on Boomer from Iroquois Hunt. Reserve Champions in each division were First Flight Anna Dunlap on Bang The Table from Iroquois Hunt and Hilltopper Katie Hurt on Oakley from. Iroquois Hunt.
Best Turned Out Junior – Cian Yorba on- Corey from LRWH & Keeneland PC and Adult – Morley Thompson MFH on Sweet William from Camargo.
It was a beautiful fall day, filled with pageantry, tradition, and camaraderie. Congratulations to all the riders!