Master Brendan greeted a fantastic field of 30 riders, 5 whips, (Lauren, Lisa, MP, Ralph and Richard) and Steve F with 18 1/2 couple of hounds. Master Stephen explained that one of the hounds Watchman (which he described as tri colored, thin with a waggy tail- ah helpful!) was donated with gratitude from Green Spring Hounds.
With Wendy F leading the field we set off, trying to avoid the tedded hay towards John and Cindy’s cornfields, once around we moved on to the Van Doren’s land. Hounds were having to work hard this morning. Mr. Farrin at one point walked the hounds round the Van Doren woods as we watched from the edge of a hay field it was quite a picture. Hounds were eventually picked up and cast in to another Van Doren cornfield’s where two foxes popped out of the corn at a rate of knots. One was viewed by most of the field as it streaked forward with hounds in hot pursuit on its very thin tail. This led us onto Cider Mill Road, where the hounds once again picked up the line with enthusiasm, but were thwarted by a small fence. Much to everyone’s surprise our huntsman dismounted from his horse and crawled under the fence to help the hounds. Well done Mr. F for showing the puppies the way!
We followed around the edge onto the Nature Conservancy property at quite a clip stopping once to reorganize, then we were off again cantering along the edge of several fields in pursuit of hounds. Charlie Fox made a run into a backyard where it was decided to call it a day as we did not want to disturb our friends and neighbors. Ornithologists have said there are at least 39 different types of birds here and I spotted goldfinches eating thistles, three types of hawks and a juvenile black- headed vulture, in the short time we stopped at a check. What a privilege it is to ride over such land.
Richard P who was instructing Charlie on the merits of whipping, (and according to Charlie he learned more about fox hunting in 15 minutes from Richard than in all the years he’s been out with me) did see a second fox. It was a hard day for hunting as the land we are able to ride over is in different parcels not helped by the center of which we parked our trailers- I suspect any self respecting fox would look out and say “oh no its them again!”
Once back at the meet we were treated to a delightful breakfast courtesy of Cindy, with help from Kris S and Joanne Grim. Cindy graciously thanked all for coming and welcomed our new members. The sun shone, and in my mind the corn framing the lawns looked straighter, the sky bluer, the two blips floating by meant to be there, and well who cares about 4.15 am- it was well worth it!