Old North Bridge Hunter Pace Results Red Rail Farm – October 14, 2018

Hunt Report from Westminster

If you didn’t get the chance to hunt at Westminster on September 25th, here’s an update from Jennifer Fuller, who has been driving the hound truck while Declan recovers from an injury, and Rhonda Hettinger who whipped in. Thanks to both of them for reporting! For all of us who couldn’t be there, it will spur us to get to the next hunt.

Jenn writes, “It was a beautiful day, though a little steamy. We had a small field, but they enjoyed great views of the hounds hunting the fields. Ginny let the hounds out of the truck at the cast to enjoy a taste of yummy Westminster grass before they headed out. We had five couple, the same group as Tuesday that hunted so well together — Justice, Concord, Jeannie, Jiingle, Cameo, Charmer, Apple, Dandy, Diva and Dreamer. All ten hounds came in together at the check and at the finish and as always we enjoyed a great variety of munchies and good company at the tailgate tea that followed.”

Rhonda adds, “the hounds behaved very well in response to some changes to their usual routine–because the wooded trails had been intentionally blocked (thanks to the ATVs!) we could not continue beyond the fields on the first piece. The hounds were honest and stopped when the scent did, then held up for us–where no one would have really blamed them if they had kept on into the woods where they’ve always gone, looking for more! (And the folks doing the model airplanes must have had a great view of the hounds… I’m very grateful to them for not having any take-offs while Cricket and I were alongside the landing strip…)

The steamy weather must have made scenting a little harder on the second piece, but hounds worked well and gave tongue throughout. I had a great–if private–view of them working down in the corner of the second field, as they worked at keeping and/or finding the scent. A slight bobble at the “red gate” (which always seems to pull hounds like a magnet!) was quickly sorted, when hounds almost immediately responded to Ginny’s call, and picked up the line again. And at the end, they again obediently stopped at a different spot than we’ve usually used.

Since they’d worked so well, we really hated to miss out the third piece, back through the long fields, but it was really heating up–and the hounds didn’t have the luxury of a proper swimming-spot to cool off, as they do some other places. Besides, we’d noted that only the upper half of the fields had been mowed, with standing water in some churned-up ruts where something had got deeply stuck. We figured the field would have had to follow by the road, and staff might have sunk right out of sight (the lower side is wet at the best of times!) so rather than risk it, we loaded hounds and hacked back.”

Hunt report from Estabrook Road

Saturday, September 17th, was one of those perfect riding days. It was clear and crisp, without a bug in sight. In foxhunting terms, we are “cubbing”. Traditionally in the early fall this is when you take out the hounds, who have been mostly roaded or walked over the summer, and get them fit. It’s a time to introduce young hounds and it’s a great time for new riders or new horses to get introduced to the sport because it’s a bit slower and shorter. The traditional aim of cubbing was to disperse the adolescent fox cubs throughout the territory. Of course, since we are a drag hunt, there are no foxes, cubs or otherwise, so it’s more accurate to call it our informal season.

We hunted in a lovely and historical territory off of Monument Street in Concord. Despite the proximity to Boston, this is a territory that still has some lovely open fields and wooded trails. Conveniently, there are cross country jumps that are built along the trails that are begging to be jumped.

Saturday’s hunt was at a more leisurely pace than we would take later in the season. Some of the hounds are young and they needed some coaxing to stay on scent. We had two casts (the third part of our territory was being used for a historical re-enactment) and they gave good “tongue” on the first cast and a bit less on the second.

Our huntsman brought three and a half couples to hunt: Apple, Diva, Justice, Jeannie, Charger, Cameo, and Concord. Whips that day were Rhonda Hettinger and Lori Baldwin, assisted by Britni Baldwin.

It was a great day to be out riding with friends and listening to the hounds work. Really, it was almost a timeless experience. Being steeped in the history of the hunt and the history of the territory made it a very cool experience.

Somewhat optimistically I carried my tiny Flip video camera with me to try to record the hunt. Unfortunately, Freedom really needs two hands on the reins right now so I got only a few useable snippets which I will piece together. Maybe I need to go the helmet cam route. Or buy a tiny camera that I can hold in my hand without letting go of the reins.

Here’s a brief glimpse of our second cast.

September 13 Hunt Report: Delaney Multi-Sport Complex in Stow

Today was the first hunt of the season and it was a fine day. A bit warm, but beautiful. Thanks to Ginny for starting out the season with such a pleasant hunt and for Rhonda Hettinger, Sue Bater and Lori Baldwin for whipping. The hounds did very well despite the heat. This is a really beautiful territory — the view over the dam was particularly splendid this morning.

Thanks to Carolyn Jazowski’s idea of offering discounted Hilltopping certificates at the Pace event, we had a guest join us for her first hunt ever. Jane and her horse had a great time and she was enthusiastic about hunting with us again.

Rhonda wrote a nice description of today’s hunt that she posted on Foxhunters Online. I hope she doesn’t mind that I reprint it here.

We had a great time, despite its having to be a short hunt (our normal third section of drag had to be left out due to large trees still down on the trail–although two of us venturesome whips, having been separated from others anyway due to a bee-scapade, decided we’d see if it was possible to get round and/or under–and we proved it was possible!) Hounds did a wonderful job in not very favorable scenting conditions, as it warmed rapidly–kept trying the whole way, and seemed to be honest in not giving tongue unless they really were on the line. It was a small week-day field, so everyone could be up close and able to see and hear hounds.

Cute scenario near the beginning, with possibilities for an animated cartoon. Hounds had found the line, and followed it from the “bowl” of the flood control area up to the ridge above, heading towards a wooded trail. A couple of the younger ones apparently spotted me paralleling them, and debated coming towards me… Looked to me as if a vaporish bit of scent (picture a cartoon hand) wafted up, grabbed them by the nose, and tweaked them 45 degrees back onto their correct path!

Second delight of the day was when we realized that we had one more hound than we thought. Another of the younger ones (littermate to the two above) had somehow eluded discovery and gotten onto the hound truck with those drawn for hunting. She’d been left out of our selection since she’d been quite shy of horses last spring. Not only did she stay well with the pack and apparently ignore her previous worries, she even gave tongue several times! So we decided things do happen for the best!


Did you leave a shoe at our Hunter Pace?

A horse shoe, that is.

Someone found and turned in a horse shoe last Sunday. It is a VERY large shoe, with a toe clip, and full plastic pad. If you claim it, we’ll send it back!

Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a wonderful day and helped us raise the money we need to maintain the trails and keep our hounds happy.

Results from our Fall Hunter Pace

Thanks to all the people who turned out today and made ONBH’s fall Hunter Pace such as success. Kudos to all the members who worked the event (and many of them still had time to ride). Below are the results of the pace. Your ribbons will be mailed to you shortly.

Don’t forget — our Learn to Hunt Clinic is September 26th at Browning’s Fields in Lincoln. If you thought the hunter pace was fun, you should learn to hunt!

Matched Teams

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Fences Division – Optimum Time: 00:59:30

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Flat Division – Optimum Time: 1:09:00

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Leisure Division – Optimum Time: 1:37:00

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