After tremendous thunderstorms the night before, where apparently we had an inch of rain on the parched grown, the Sunday morning broke quite mild having lost some of the humidity in the air. Hounds met at Riding Mill Farm and Master Stephen Buxton greeted everyone for the morning. It was great to see three of our new ladies, Christie, Cheryl and Maria, (admittedly looking a little apprehensive), and a guest Bob Murphy who was capping, join us. Our Huntsman Steve explained that we had 16 1/2 couples of which there were 4 puppies. (Lancet, Nightcap,Nimrod and Lester) Brook, MP and Lauren were our whips for the day. Off we set down Phil and PM Wards driveway at a calm walk, admiring the young foals at llona English’s and all slightly worrying that they would set off running around madly. Thankfully, although they did a few laps of their paddock they calmed and seemed just curious.
Across Runnyon Mill Road onto Wielenta's land, which Steve F had groomed the prior week. Master Steve was hoping we would get along to the Vineyard as he and Steve F had mended and cleared all the jumps in preparation. However, once past the tiny brook (well done Maria for staying on when your horse leapt over) the young hounds broke in the wrong direction. This led the first flight into a gallop. But after a 100 yards or so, Steve F had retrieved hounds and firmly chastised the puppies for not listening. It blew a few cobwebs off and Brian S leading the second flight kept everyone together beautifully.
Pottering off and around Wielenta's hay field led us to the rough section prior to the vineyard and the hounds changed direction and onto the scent of a fox, within seconds our hounds caught their prey. So in record time, hounds performed, Steve sounded his horn, praised his pack and it was time to head home for breakfast. Our first Sunday Hunt lasted exactly 39 minutes, from leaving to getting back.
Tradition has it that when a fox is killed the new folks get “blooded” (eek) this was not done but our huntsman Steve F gave the new ladies and Cindy H a fox paw each and the brush went to Kathy E who put on a very pleasant breakfast. Priscilla took photos and Tiffany T up from NC caught up on the news.
So I am told at this time of year it’s all about the hounds and they got the message and some great training today. A good day for all especially Lynette whose horse was agreeable!