Wayne Dawson, Bill Johnson, Dave Pritchard, Bob Satterfield and Gib Stevenson have rebuilt decks, put in a new door frame and two new doors.
As you may remember, Dave and Bill revamped our whelping and nursing room. There’s only a bit left to be done. It doesn’t even look like the same room.
John and Toot have repainted the interior of the kennels. We still have to repaint the Puppy Palace. And of course, “The Boys” cleaned up all the debris from the storms. Every time they’d clean up it seemed another storm was on the way.
What remains to be done, the most important chore, is digging a drainage ditch to disperse the gully washers. A hard rain is one thing, but we are just getting these pounding storms, as are you, I reckon.
There are other small things left to do but that is the big one along with fencing in a new kennel run, same run I’ve been talking and begging about for five years now. I hope this is the year that sees it materialize.
Our kennels were in good shape but needed a refresher.
Our second M litter has graduated from kindergarten and is now doing first grade work. They do their lessons in the Arena with the older hounds. Those lessons are brief, perhaps two to five minutes, then lots of playtime, then a bit more structure.
Maria Johnson, Stuart Jones, Mary Shriver and I play as much as the puppies do. John and Toot are with us every step of the way and occasionally someone will drop by or Amy Burke and Jacque Franco will ride in with horses.
The puppies are as comfortable with horses as with people and G-d bless Kali and the whip horses because Missle, Marco, Moneypenny and Masquerade stand on their hind legs and lean on the horses. Sometimes they even get right in front when the horses are standing and put their paws on those big chests. No one complains or even snorts.
By mid June, we will take walks outside the Arena and by July, a few horses will accompany us. The youngsters still need work on packing in but they should get it pretty quickly. The Ms are uncommonly beautiful and the most fluid movers imaginable.
We have a litter of puppies right about 4 months old now, our Z litter. These pups, 7 in number, the M litter is also 7), are brilliant tricolors. Already they display hunting drive, noses down as well as irrepressibly high spirits. It’s good we have a year before we will hunt them as they need to mature, as do all young things. This morning they were taken to the Arena with two of the Ms and they mimicked whatever Mikie and Marco did. If the two bigger boys ran, the puppies ran right behind them, all packed up. If the big hounds stopped, the little ones stopped. They didn’t really know what they were doing, but they were doing. Great fun for all.
We hope to breed one more litter. As you know, we must take great care in that department, most especially until we can return the Puppy Palace to a true Puppy Palace, which is why I keep trying to get this extra run accomplished.
As an aside, you who have seen the kennels and those big runs with condos, you might say, “We have lots of space. You can put more hounds in those runs and breed more.” Yes, but I don’t want to do that.
John and Toot and myself have the hounds divided according to who gets along with whom. We do not and will not overcrowd runs. One of the reasons we have few kennel fights and so many happy hounds is they have so much room and a bit of variety in the runs with shade, one has a pond etc.
What a gorgeous May 24. 94 people rode in the Hunter Pace and so many congratulated me on the beautiful course. I did nothing. The course was designed by Sue Satterfield and put together by the committee of Bob and Sue Satterfield and Gib and Lynn Stevenson. Dave and Liz Pritchard were in charge of organizing the food and Marilee Lindbeck, Jim Finn and Ann Aucker helped with timing and course directions.
A great team and a great day. Thank you all.
Save the Date:
Saturday May 24th, 2014 Oak Ridge is holding their annual Spring Hunter Pace at Tea Time Farm!
The general duties of a Master are outlined in Wadsworth’s invaluable pamphlet. A thumbnail sketch is that a Master is responsible for all aspects of the hunt, including landowner relations, keeping the country open and paneled, seeing that county and state laws concerning kennels are in order, and most importantly and often most trying, keeping the hunt financially afloat. Oak Ridge Masters share these responsibilities, but each Master has specific areas of focus as well, as described below.
Rita Mae Brown
• Everything to do with hounds, including hunting them, feeding and caring for them, training them, breeding new ones, and drafting them in and out as needs dictate.
• Providing a home for the kennels and all associated storage buildings. Also, providing for the various deliveries of food and other supplies needed for the hounds.
• Providing transportation for hounds and staff horses to and from meets.
• Construction and maintenance of main kennels, including hound runs and fencing.
• Hiring and firing of all hunt staff, professional and amateur, including the training of same.
• Work closely with the Hunt Secretary on club business.
• Rita Mae as Huntsman is always busy before and after meets with the hounds. Please wait until the tail gate to chat with her.
• Make sure that there are appropriate flight leaders for each hunt and have the fields ready to move off when hounds arrive.
• Recruit and develop new Field Masters for each of the flights.
• Help Masters and members recruit new members – this is everybody’s job.
• Work with David to coordinate trail clearing, jump building, and fixture development.
• Work with David and club members to coordinate social activities, including the Hunt Ball, Opening Hunt Breakfast, and other special hunt breakfasts, as appropriate.
• Organize and lead Summer Rides to keep members involved and horses and riders fit.
• Coordinate fund-raising activities to help support the annual operating budget.
• Serve as a contact person for members and guests with questions or issues with an attempt to reduce RMB’s load in this area.
• Manage all of the club’s financial matters.
• Develop with the other Masters an annual budget.
• Pay the bills for hounds and staff and other club needs.
• Prepare and track the bills for club member dues.
• Collect and account for all club-related revenues.
• All dues payments should be sent to David at 211 4th Street, Charlottesville, Va., 22902.
• Coordinate and disseminate information to club members about hunt safety and hunt etiquette and attire.
• Work with Bob to coordinate trail clearing, jump building, and fixture development.
• Work with Bob and club members to coordinate social activities, including the Hunt Ball, Opening Hunt Breakfast, and other special hunt breakfasts, as appropriate.