Then the first hunt of the New Year left from Big Sky- where Master Stephen led the field of 15. I should add he was very concerned about the footing in case it was too icy or boggy, or boggy and icy and I happen to know he walked nearly all the meet the day beforehand. However, 15 riders, 161/2 couple of hounds seemed to have had a great ride and Joanne Grimm summed it up by saying there were a few flat out gallops, much adrenaline pumping as hounds flipped through the woods in full cry to put a fox to ground.
Then the first Wednesday of the year, Jeannie kindly agreed to lead the field and seemed to have some fun with a loose bull. As Jacqui stated it was every man for themselves! Thankfully no one worst for wear!
And today ….It is a long time since I hunted the Merck property, but with so many weeks out of the saddle I would have gone to city center Trenton if needed! To ride the Merck property, or as I believe it is really, the South Branch State Reservation- Three Bridges Section, we need a $25 permit from the Warden which Mr. Farin kindly collected a few days beforehand.
The area is a combination of open fields, woodland interspersed with hard top trails and very tight parking, but despite the fog which seemed to get thicker as the morning progressed, the day was mild and Master Joanne and Stephen, 20 riders, and our whips, Richard, Wendy and Charlie kept out hounds moving and together.
Some of our horses weren’t quite what I would describe as “together” and pretty standard for horses that got fit coming into the winter and then have had few opportunities to hunt due to the weather. But it is pretty remarkable to even be out in mid January, so Buxton-stop moaning! After a couple of hours the field called it a day.
Now to Del La Brooke- it seems to date we have 20 riders and 3 supporters coming to the Joint Meet, which is fantastic. Next week I will send info of additional accommodation and a list of everyone that has so far confirmed (just in case I miss anyone!). I know some folks can’t confirm for a week or so.