We had a beautiful day for our Blessing of the Hounds and we all felt particularly blessed to have the opportunity to hunt these beautiful fields. This day was made possible by the unflagging work of Jon and Anne Kaiser, Janet Marantz, Marjorie Franko, Lori Baldwin and other volunteers who spent the last two weeks clearing the trails.
Thanks also to Noel Estes who arranged the details of the Blessing and to the Kaisers and the Greenbergs for the tasty tea.
The first field was led by Wendy Good and Hilltoppers were led by Debbe Kelley. We had three casts in all, ending with a very picturesque ride up through the apple orchard.
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Saturday, October 8th we hunted from Red Rail Farm. It was a really beautiful day — up in the mid-70s and sunny — and we had a nice large turn out. The hunt started from one of the most beautiful fields around offering a fabulous view of the hounds as they started to work.
We then moved off into the woods. Although the hounds started off well, they were diverted off the drag by some live scent — most likely deer — and while we could hear them give tongue off in the distance, they were not on the drag. That left the field waiting for staff and the hounds off the side of the trail, hoping not to disturb a nest of ground bees (one of my biggest fears when hunting on warm fall days).
After nearly 10 minutes we moved on but at a controlled pace and continued on until the first check.
Our first check was at a glade in the woods. It’s a very pleasant place to pause as it was a little cooler out of the sun and gave the horses and hounds the chance to catch their breath.
The second cast went very well. The hounds were back on track and we had a good gallop through the woods.
We finished the hunt with an adrenalin charged gallop up the final hill. Freedom must have had some flashbacks to his racing days but we managed not to pass anyone.
Thanks to Noel Estes, who led the jumping field, Debbe Kelley who lead the hilltoppers, and Dennis Kelley who led the third field.
Jenn Fuller adds, “Anything that happened before or during the hunt was likely eclipsed by the LOBSTAH FEST! Thank you to our generous hosts of this annual tradition — Kim Johnson, Pam and Buzz Hawes, Cathy Shortsleeve, and Stephanie Juriansz. It goes above and beyond and sets the bar for the other teas so high, I’m not sure how the rest of us can hope to compete.
But, before the LOBSTAH FEST, there was, of course, a hunt. It was a beautiful day, a bit brisk at the start, but it warmed quickly. It may not have been our most spectacular hunt, hound-wise, but we are dealing with animals who sometimes have a mind of their own and might not do exactly what we hoped they would. In the end, though, we had all but one hound, Ms. Diva, who decided she’d like to get a history lesson at Walden Pond. It pays to know people if you’re the Huntsman, though, and we retrieved her from the pokey free of charge. :-)”
Every time we go out and enjoy a hunt we must all say thanks to the members of the hunt who put in the time and effort to clear the trails. Because they don’t look this good without a lot of hard work.
Here are some photos from some of the Work Days this fall.