Fall Hunter Pace September 7, 2019

Please join us Saturday, September 7 for our annual Fall Hunter Pace.

The members of Oak Ridge are planning a wonderful course that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful countryside at Tea Time Farm. The course is approximately 7 miles with divisions for fast and slow teams with 20-25 jumping efforts. There are go-arounds for those who do not wish to jump.

Flyer

Entry Form

Release

August 10 Foxhunting Clinic

  • If you’ve ever dreamed of foxhunting but don’t know where to begin, Oak Ridge Hunt will hold an Introduction to Foxhunting on August 10 at Tea Time Farm in Afton, Virginia from 9 to 1.
  • The morning will begin with a mounted session with groups for both jumpers and hilltoppers.
  • This will include an introduction to hounds and a short hack with the pack.
  • The lunch break will feature a discussion by Dr. Rita Mae Brown about the history of hunting attire, with examples of proper turnout.
  • There will also be a discussion about tack and safety in the Hunt field
  • If you’ve ever dreamed of foxhunting, contact

Susan Boone boonesusan3@gmail.com for

information and to register. Entry fee $50.

Flyer

Registration Form

Spring Hunter Pace Results

Thank you to everyone who helped at yesterday’s hunter pace, especially Sara and Dale Bateman, who hosted the event at their farm. We had secretary Lynn Stevenson, gatekeepers Sara Bateman, Dave Pritchard, Bob Satterfield, Cathy Denton, Checkpoint by Sue Satterfield and Lynne Stockton, and lunch setup by Dale Bateman and Liz Pritchard. Thank you to everyone who brought food for lunch.It was delicious as always. To our competitors, I apologize for any confusion about the course. We will do a better job next time.

The pace was set this year. Optimum time for 1st flight was 75 minutes, 2nd flight and Juniors was 85 minutes, and 3rd flight was 100 minutes. The results follow.
!st Flight
1 Mackenzie Shine, Brooks Arrington,Lindsay Enegless Paulette
2 Mary Kalergis, Elizabeth Lakney, Stephanie Guerlain
3 Liz Hall, Kathy Eichelberger
4 Kim Eastep, Joy Watkins
5 Cara Potter, Kelly Van Scoter
6 Bud Riddle, Anne Willson
2nd Flight
1 Heather Browning, Rachel Casdorph
2 Meghan Rexnode, Maddy Sliwoski
3 Meghan Custer, Jane Andrews, Becky Birnbaum
4 Jennifer Campbell, Anne Riley
5 Elizabeth Taylor, Karen Payne
3rd Flight
1 Lee and Berkeley Pemberton
2 Kathleen Anderson, Tina Mallia
3 Lynn and Raymond Tuckwiller
Juniors
1 Anne Morrison, Kenzie Miller, Camryn MacDonald
2 Victoria Joyce, Tierna Joyce, Anna Mason
3 Julie and Pippa Cook
4 Jennifer Daly, Virginia Butler, Leah Huffman
5 Kristen Jones, Liberty Prang, Karen Catron
6 Kay Carey, Olivia Wolpert
Congratulations to you all. Our next event is a Poker Ride on June 15 at Starvale Farm in Shipman. Our Summer Ride schedule will be out this week. We hope to see you all soon.

Upcoming Events

Mark your Calendars! Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club will be holding several events over the coming months. We’re announcing dates in advance this year so folks can plan ahead.

Sunday, April 7: Judged Pleasure Ride at Penlan Station on Ridge Rd. in Arvonia, VA from 9 AM to noon. Enjoy a 7 mile ride along the dirt roads and rolling hills of Penlan Station. The ride includes 6 judged trail obstacles, all optional. Lunch is included, entry fee is $40. Please contact Susan Boone or Sara Bateman at midlomom@corvesto.net.

Oak Ridge Pleasure ride flyer

Pleasure Ride entry

May 18: Spring Hunter Pace 

Spring Hunter Pace Flyer

Hunter Pace Entry

Release for all events
June 15: Poker Ride from Starvale Farm in Shipman, VA to Wood Ridge Farm Brewery and back. This will not be timed, so you can enjoy a leisurely ride on a summer morning.

Poker Ride Flyer

Poker Ride Entry

Release for all events

August 10: Introduction to Foxhunting Clinic at Teatime Farm in Afton. There will be divisions for Hunters, who want to improve their jumping skills while riding to hounds, and Hilltoppers, who are new to the sport.

September 7: Fall Hunter Pace Locations will be announced soon. Both Hunter Paces are part of a series of 6 Paces with Glenmore Hunt Club and Rockbridge Hunt, with series end awards.
All of our events include lunch for the participants. Mark your calendars- we look forward to seeing you soon.

Master’s Report November 2018

OPENING HUNT, NOVEMBER 11, 2018

      A beautiful day, a beautiful prayer from Reverend Judy Parrish, whom I call Father Parrish. She laughs at me but she does that anyway. We’ve known one another for years and like most people called to religious service, she makes light of it but has always tended to her flocks whether they come through the church doors or not. She’s retired now but still serving others.
      The big news apart from the fabulous weather was the fact that we had Rhonda, Heather, Regan Holland and the grandchildren to see us, as was Anne Seaton.
     You can’t miss Anne, tall, willowy, bursting with energy. I so like to bedevil her. She takes it in good stride. Anne and Mark Catron were and remain, the driving force behind the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra fundraiser October 26. Hard to believe, but this is our tenth year.
     At opening Hunt, Anne presented me with a check for $2000. Thank you, Anne and thank you, Mark. We are honored to be a small part of this remarkable orchestra.
      Hounds pushed out a fox and ran him to the graveyard by the Cistern. I couldn’t stay behind them as they crossed to the other side of the deep creek by the dying beef barns. Fortunately, Becky Birnbaum was there. By the time I got through a trail somewhat open and somewhat not, he was put to ground but at least we got a bit of music.
     Open Hunts are rarely barn burners for us and usually they aren’t the best for other hunts either. For one thing, almost all of our opening hunts in Virginia take place during bow season or black powder. The important thing is we are all together looking glorious as did Becky, Kristen Jones, the Field Masters  ( Priscilla Friedberg, Sara Bateman, and Susan Boone) and all of you.
      Isn’t it fun to watch the horses? They know what braids mean and we have some vain creatures in our hunt field. Well, when you look that good, it’s hard to be modest.
      Here’s to a good season with hopes that the animals will not start marching two by two. I don’t think Old Man Noah will take a pack of hounds. Onward.

THE FIVE FOOLISH VIRGINS AND THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS

     Do you remember the parable, Matthew Chapter 25, Verses 1 through 12? All ten virgins were invited to a wedding and all brought lamps. However, only five brought oil. The bridegroom tarried. When he finally arrived at midnight, the foolish had no oil. They asked the wise for some oil but were refused and missed the wedding.
      Sometimes I think our foxes are like those ladies. Some store food and others play too much. They prefer to go out around dusk and come back at dawn. We do not hunt at those times so basically we may be hunting the foolish foxes. I don’t know, but I do know whether we hop a foolish one or a wise one, the animal is smarter than we are.
      Finally, they have grown winter coats. We watch a few new den, modern architecture, and a few old ones more of the Federal period I think. The fox with the den at the back of Jim Klemic’s dug into the creek bed with other exits and entrances, is quite tidy. She or he lives in sharp contrast to a den not far from my house, which belongs to a hoarder. No doubt this fox, red, will blame groundhogs for the mess but really it’s his. I’ve watched this domestic debacle for years, which is where I got the idea for Uncle Yancy in the Sister Jane books. The current fox must be the grandchild of the original inspiration. Certainly makes one consider or reconsider inherited traits.
      Thanks to deer season, our game sits tight. We’ve gotten them out a bit but one red, always a good runner, shoots straight to Jimmy Carter’s. Well, the music sounds lovely.
      We are almost halfway through our season. We have just begun formal hunting and we all are hoping for better weather. Hounds like to hunt and so do I, so we go but the footing is deceptive. Surprisingly, in some places it is solid. However, mostly not. This is a mess for all of us and I swear you can hear that mud sucking off your horse’s shoes.
       Some of you have asked if you can wear raincoats as I have been going out in all but heavy rain. As long as it’a not hot pink, go ahead. As to water sliding down your boots, I know of no solution to that.
      Let’s hope for the best. We will be able to return and vigorously hunt our fixtures now hosting hunt clubs and hunting parties. I hope they have a good season as we are overrun with deer. Fortunately, I work on that when puppies are puppies. Even our young entry are hitting their stride. When first a deer shoots out in front of them, they either stop cold or run after it. Seeing that they are alone or only with another youngster, they come back quickly. Often, no whipper-in is needed. The other hounds chastise them, which is really more effective than if I do it. I will do it if I am encountering a hardhead, but in the main I let the hounds do their own policing.
      I’m surprised that our member numbers are growing despite the weather. Usually in bad years, there’s a downtick. Not this year and I credit that to the extra special events, continued glorious tailgates, and general good cheer. The season hasn’t been dreadful but it’s hard for hounds and staff in a monsoon.
      This makes me think most of our foxes are wise virgins, so to speak. They aren’t coming out in this stuff.

A MASTER’S PASSION

      Anything about hunting, I read and re-read. Re-reading Henry Chapin’s memoirs, a very rich and good Master, English. Have read everything I can find about Tom Firr, Fred Findlay, Ikey Bell, and other outstanding huntsmen from the 19th and 20th centuries. Have unearthed some old books about a few notables from the eighteenth century.
      The reason I assault you with this is, I especially love the handwritten diaries which occasionally find their way into used bookstore. No one wants them. I do. As Tallulah would say, “Marvelous, Darling, Simply Marvelous.” ( I adore this woman!)
        So should you come across a diary, whether printed (those with funds often did so) or handwritten, usually in a leather bound book, I will pay for it and your efforts in finding same.
      I can’t get enough. I even keep old pedigree notes. .Hey, you might find another Squire Obaldeston’s Furrier.
      Learning keeps me going. For instance, Mr. Pip has white spots. He’s polka dotted. That coat goes back to an English Thoroughbred, Birdcatcher of 1833. Mr. Pip is a Saddlebred, but Saddlebreds are a good 80% Thoroughbred.
      I you have materials but don’t wish to sell them, if you allow me to borrow same, I will return within one month in perfect condition. I put such things in a drawer so the cats can’t read them. Enough.

EXTRAORDINARY GENEROSITY

The William Woods girls and one professor, Michelle Smith, rode well, covered a lot of beautiful Virginia and Laura Hayon, whipping-in with Becky Birnbaum, saw a bear. Professor Laura Ward rode in the truck with John and couldn’t stop talking about it. She had such a good time.
      They hunted Friday and Sunday. Thank you all for the use of your horses.’
      And now to thank Marion Maggiolo of Horse Country who once again went over the top. She arranged for tickets to the Gold Cup. She had a tailgate organized with tables, food, everything. And for each young lady, she had a bag containing clothing and items they could use.
      I told her I would pay for this as it really is an awful lot. She wouldn’t hear of it. She has done this for the girls each visit and she won’t take a thing.
      Marion says she loves seeing young people learn about foxhunting and she knows William Woods teaches all four seats.
      When you see her, for surely you will go to Horse Country to buy some elegant Christmas presents, thank her.
Dr. Rita Mae Brown, MFH

Master’s Report November 2018

Dear ORH Member,

     You showed the William Woods University girls and two professors a good time. The bear helped but they rode in the rain Friday like troopers. Sunday, beautiful, gave us scent but it wouldn’t hold except for the bear.

     As you know, it is deer season which restricts our use of territory. With the exception of Cherry Hill, every fixture now hosts a deer hunting club or hunting parties. I remind you they pay the landowner. We do not.

     Sara, Bob, Pam cleared trails at Cherry Hill and Bob, James, Sara, Kathleen, Chris, Mark, Ed, Susan, and Pam at Oak Ridge. The Hollands allow us to use that Sunday for Opening Hunt and give us the use of the Carriage House at no cost. This is a large gift indeed and we are now on our 26th year of same.

     Oak Ridge hosts weddings throughout the year. Usually these take place over a weekend. An activity was planned for Nov. 4, Sunday but the Hollands gave us Nov. 11th. In effect they surrender a payday for us. Given the world in which we live, this is extraordinary.

     The Waynesboro Symphony proved a smashing success, another triumph for Mark Catron and Anne Seaton. I will let them tell you what happened after the concert. Quite wonderful.

     Thanks to Andy Lynn, ex-MFH of Keswick, Stephanie Gill, professional whipper-in and Heather Player, professional whipper-in and huntsman, we had enough horses for the WWU girls. Thanks also to Heather and Stephanie whom I asked to ride those days to help in the field if needs be. Only one horse and rider went down and that was due to slippery red clay. No injuries.

     Per usual, I check with other masters and huntsmen. Those of us in Virginia and Maryland are having similar seasons. Those chasing coyote are getting more scent than those of us chasing foxes. Pennsylvania is doing a bit better but it’s been wet there, too. South of us, well, the damage is terrible but they’ll pull through. Much as we all love foxhunting there are people without homes. Kentucky is doing ok and Nevada is the usual “Yahoo”.

     The bridge floods. The boys get back to work. The last flood didn’t tear it up but it was out of commission for two days. I await another quote on labor but I am not hopeful.

Given all the problems with communication, if there is hard rain assume the bridge is out and use the back entrance to TTF off Rt. 611.

     Having been hermetically sealed in the recording studio with two dub days to go, I don’t know much about outside events. This is a good thing. I will, however, trundle to the polls on Nov. 6, and hope you do, too.

Up and Over,

RMB

The Difference Between a Subscription and a Private Pack

     Some time ago I said I would explain this as I don’t think many of you know the details.

     A subscription pack elects its master or masters on May 1st. A Board of Governors is also elected at this time and Committee Chairs may also be elected. A Committee Chair does not automatically sit on the Board of Governors. Each subscription pack figures that out for itself. The huntsman is not elected. Staff hires or assignments are the province of the masters.

     When a subscription pack works, a great deal is accomplished as the workload is spread. Also, dues are usually higher and canvassed. That, too, is a big help.

     The problems arise when all these different committees, people on the board, engage in in-fighting which sometimes happens. Then uproar ensues, even club splits and generally a few people march out at a high decibel level no matter what. They may well be right but it creates chaos. Sometimes it takes years to recover from these tempests.

     A private pack is exactly that: private. It is usually owned by one person or a few people. Oak Ridge is private as is Red Rock and I think Stonewall is, too. Lynne Beegle Gebhard calls it a benign dictatorship. Membership is freed from politics to enjoy hunting and one another’s company. The workload falls on the master or masters’ shoulders. However, they may do ask for labor assistance and sometimes financial Assistance. The dues are usually lower, often much lower, at a private pack.

     Think of this as an inexact parallel but a subscription pack is a C corporation for profit while a private pack is more like a non-profit structure.

     This doesn’t mean there can’t be in-fighting at a private pack. People being people disagreements occur but the frothing is usually at a lower temperature. One can be dismissed from a subscription pack usually by a Board of Governor’s meeting. One is dismissed by a private pack with a subtle or not-so-subtle “Hit the Bricks”.

     When the weather is good and the hunting good, fewer dramas arise no matter where you hunt. Eventually people realize no master or huntsman can control the weather. It all evens out.

     Being a private pack you all can enjoy the hunting, one another, the beauty of central Virginia with few distractions. The last few days remind each of us how beautiful central Virginia can be as well as how variable the weather.

Weather

     Years past I made the call concerning hunting three hours before the first cast. As more people from farther away joined this was pushed back to four hours. My accuracy impressed even me.

     Given members at even greater distances, I now make the call the night before. This creates more mistakes because the Weather Channel makes mistakes. Our weather system by the mountains changes rapidly. You all have looked at the radar, clear, get here and it’s anything but.

     As stated at the beginning of cubbing, I will go in a soft to medium rain, light winds. I won’t go in a downpour or high winds, given the moisture in the earth, the small root balls of pine trees, high winds can create havoc. Each time winds pop up over even 20mph pines come down. The next day John and Toot clear the roads. We often can’t check the trails for days. The roads come first and we have many trails here, Mr. Campbell’s, Jim Klemic’s and Foxden.

     You all may not realize how much work there is to do or for this year how distressingly consistent.

     Please don’t bug Lynn Stevenson about when and where. The call will be made the night before a hunt. When you have your fixture card, the call will be made the night before a hunt.

     Given how odd this year has been I expect to wake up and find unannounced either snow or forsythia blooming.

     Onward

College Signs

     About twenty interior jumps remain to be adopted. Lafayette College and Florida State University came on board. It’s easier if we can get these painted in ten or more at a time.

Be sure to tell me what color you want as the background. Cost: $100. And it is your jump forever.