It didn’t take long to see our hounds work the first cornfield and then take off at a rate of knots into John’s larger corn field. This meant that we took off at a gallop after them. I love it when you have the chance to warm your horse up and then blow off some steam early in the day- when we gathered there was a great deal of smiling from all. It was clear that our whips had done a superb job of keeping the pack together and so when Steve did a roll call- all were panting and present.
We moved onto Mrs Van Dorens land- and the hounds worked the corn as we stood guard to stop any of them moving onto Amwell Road. Standing there, the horses slightly steaming, the corn now brown and dry, firstly a large grey heron gracefully flew overhead followed by what Jeannie and I thought was a bald eagle taking off from a thicket; we had heard there was one in the valley. Then back to the other side of the Van Doren’s land and Madelyn made some interesting noises that went like oooh, eees oooh, this was clearly code for “Tally Ho” and a magnificent dog fox with a fabulous brush shot out of the corn a few feet in front of us and ran onto Mrs Van Doren’s cow fields.The smart chap knew we couldn’t follow but he gave everyone an excellent view.
Meanwhile our trusty road whips, Bruce and Laurie were dealing with fox overload on the "S" bend of Cider Mill Road as they come across 3 more foxes. So we went onto D and R Greenways land, and after Steve worked one of the top fields the pack picked up the scent of another fox, Master Stephen was forced to take the field the long way around in order to catch the pack, however, a section was galloped at a rate of knots back to the road.!!! Meanwhile Steve had already come on another fox that gave the pack something to think about. We had planned to try to get down to the river across from Barbara Hays land, but with so much chasing this way and that, we ran out of time and decided to call it a day- remarkably all hounds accounted for.
We returned to the meet, and had a delightful breakfast supplied by Lynnette and Brian.
One of the things I absolutely love about fox hunting, is the camaraderie that’s involved and Amwell has this in spades. It is fair to say it is a club which isn’t hierarchical, people try their best to help each other and just love getting out to watch hounds follow their instincts, ride horses and chase a few foxes. Today as Katy pointed out, people had offered their horses to friends, people were excited that Kristin has taken on the monumental task of running the Hunter Trials, people welcomed guests into the fold and could eat together. this turned out to be a superb 8 fox day!