Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Hunt - November 27, 2008, Fuquay Farms

It was a beautiful day for a hunt. Martin and family (including 10-day old Martha Ann) provided a lovely stirrup cup. We also had a photographer out for portraits and possible photos for our calendar, a new project this year.

We started at the fox ravine and wound ourselves around the territory until we were on the other side of Paul's land in one of the fields. The hounds found a line in the woods and made their way down the hill toward Odell's bottom. After ascertaining that the hounds were going to keep going, Fred led the field toward the bottom. Because we couldn't make it through the woods, we galloped back down the trail, across the field, around the pasture, through the rye field and into the woods, where we picked up the hounds. We then did a loop from the bottom around the pond and finally back to the fox ravine for a last sweep.

Fred declared that since it was Thanksgiving, we'd retire a little early so (in his words), "the women can cook and the men can watch the women cook." Let's hope Elaine puts him to work.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23 at Lennox Farm

The hunt started slowly, as two hours went by and the hounds had hardly made a noise. The deer hunters to whom we sub-lease the territory were riding around checking their stands, and it seemed that the extra activity would dampen our prospects.

Fred worked the hounds along the edge of a large field and the pack perked up as a few hounds began to speak. After a few minutes, more hounds joined in as the pack started to follow the line. The hounds ran past Chris M., Lloyd's whipper-in in training, and into the woods. Fred followed and he and Chris M. took off after the hounds as they ripped through the countryside.

After about 15 minutes, the hounds had made a large loop and Fred guessed it was a red fox. But this changed as their direction straightened and the pack moved off the farm. Fred and Chris followed for another 20 minutes, trying to get in front and stop the hounds, navigating a fallen timber moonscape and not knowing exactly where they were. They got within a few hundred yards, saw the pack running along a ridge and tried to blow the horn and shoot to get them to stop, but the hounds were locked on and kept going.

At about this time, the field, led by the other whipper-in Chris M., somehow caught up without a radio and the group tried to follow the hounds through the thick woods. It was getting dark and thankfully the hounds had slowed and we bumped right into them. The run had lasted at least an hour and Fred was convinced it had been a coyote.

We brought the hounds back and had all fifteen couple. Everyone went to Claude and Jan’s house afterward, where they had a great dinner prepared, taking the tailgate to another level.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 - Fuquay Farms

Today's hunt was fairly uneventful.  We put a fox to ground, but did not get on any long runs.  We had a large turnout for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hunt Night on November 14th Hosted by Red Mountain Hounds

Not rain or even ankle deep red mud could dampen the spirits of Sedgefield Hunt members Cindy Rice, Mary Marshall Fariss, Elizabeth Folk, Laura Folk and Rene’ Folk, who participated in Hunt Night hosted by the Red Mountain Hounds. We braided our horses under the barn shelter, watched a few of the AA jumping rounds, shopped a little, changed at the hotel then warmed up our horses in the indoor JB Hunt arena.

We enjoyed the friendly camaraderie amongst ourselves and with the other Hunt members. When it came time to show, the Sedgefield Hunt members were on task. Mary Marshall, Elizabeth and Laura competed in the Junior Flat Class and Mary Marshall and Elizabeth competed in the Junior Over Fences. Elizabeth won the flat class on her horse, Motown Mo, and Laura closely followed with a second on Cindy’s pony, Moo Cha Cha. Mary Marshall and her horse, Cee Cee Fariss, placed 4th in the jumping and Elizabeth placed 2nd which enabled her and Mo to take home the Champion of the Junior Division ribbon.

Cindy and Rene’ competed in the Ladies Flat and Rene’ competed in the Ladies Over Fences class. Cindy brought home a 5th on her hunt horse, Grayson, and Rene’ brought home a 4th on Supra Scarlett. Rene’ then won a 2nd in the Over Fences class which enabled her to take home the Reserve Champion in the Ladies Division ribbon.

After 5 minutes of debating, Mary Marshall, Rene’ and Elizabeth competed in the Trios over Fences. Talk about fun!!!! Our team placed 3rd even with Cee Cee bucking every now and then!

We were so glad Lore Fariss and Randy Jones were there to cheer us own and cluck when needed! Lore took lots of pictures and Randy posed with lots of ribbons! We all enjoyed the refreshments Red Mountain furnished while we were between classes. An absolute fun time on a rainy evening!

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 16, 2008 - Plainfield 1:30 p.m.

Hunting was slow; we sighted many deer and a few turkeys, but no luck finding a fox or coyote.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Opening Meet

This past Saturday, November 8, 2008, Sedgefield Hunt held the 2008- 2009 hunt season Opening Meet. Our Plainfield Hunt territory was beautifully decorated with elegant horses and the excited (somewhat awake) faces of their riders. At 8:30 a.m., riders gathered for the stirrup cup and Blessing of the Hounds.

At 9:00 a.m. the SH Foxhounds and Huntsman/Joint Master of Foxhounds, Fred, moved off with the “go ahead” from Joint Masters Martin and Richard. First Flight followed, led by Field Master Kit and Hilltopers led by Field Master Paula. Fred hacked the 11 ½ couple hounds to the first covert, across the field.

The day (sunny and warm, making for pretty pictures, but not excellent scenting conditions) was going slow and blank. As we started up the power line, a couple hours after moving off, a foot follower, Frank, standing up the power line called down that several deer had just crossed the power line above us. Our hounds walked on, right over the hot deer line; yes, we do have an awesome pack of Penn-Marydels!

After coming up the power line, we moved back across Plainfield Road by the Thanksgiving Coop and the hounds lit up! Photographer led the pack down the field, and into the woods as Fred blew “Gone Away.” The pack ran in full cry with all in until they finally stopped in a patch of woods, where they put a grey to ground.

We went on in search of a coyote willing to give us another good run. Walking along the bottom of a small, tall grass patch off the gas line, Kit and Paula instructed their field members to go “Tall Grass Hunting.” In military style, everyone turned where they were, side by side, and moved across the field. We stirred up a deer, but were unable to find our coyote. After another half hour we headed in.

With the hounds put away, horses untacked, and people ready to eat and drink, everyone gathered at the tents for the Masters' Breakfast. We had a wonderful meal, in great company. Awards were given and colors were awarded to Ben, Kaitlyn, and Elizabeth F.