Cubbing starts September 20

We’re almost there if you don’t melt first. Summer refuses to release her vice-like grip and if our weather apps are correct, it will be hot Friday September 20 although not as hot as today.

This is a reminder that cubbing you are there for the hounds. After Opening Hunt, the hounds are there for you.
Easy to say but in practice this means one should be more silent than usual. Of course, you are always to be quiet especially when hounds are cast or have lost the line. As there will be young entry out there, also second year with the veterans, this is especially important.
The youngsters have never seen so many people on horseback. We want them not to be afraid of you, loud noises will do that, and we know they must learn to concentrate with the big kids. Takes time but with even a hint of scent it’s fabulous how quickly they learn their task.
The hardest time for any hounds is trying to find a line then trying to keep it. Soil changes, of which we have plenty, a stiff unexpected wind, crossing a creek can all cause a line to disappear. The fox is a master at it.
While our youngsters are learning their trade so are this year’s cubs, now almost fully grown.
We don’t want to pressure them overmuch but we do want them to run. One of the fascinating things about fox behavior is often the young will run a pattern like their parents. Usually their parents are not with them although that has happened. I do not know if parents teach their young their hunting boundaries for their own game or if this is simply figured out quickly as they are so smart.
As fox has been considered vermin, few state sponsored studies of their behavior have been funded. Maryland funded one the year Princess Diana died which is why it’s vivid in my memory as I was driving to the lecture when the news reached America or perhaps when it reached me. Others may have known it earlier.
Since then there has been some progress such as the book “How to Tame a Fox”, first seen in National Geographic. If one were young, studying wildlife would be a growing field, wide open, I think.
So what I relay concerning foxes or other wildlife is based on a lifetime of observation. I can’t prove a thing scientifically. However, what I have observed helps the hounds and I scare up a fox.
A few rules concerning your turnout. No red. If you wish to wear a short sleeved polo shirt, you may. Our territory can be rough. I always wear a light coat, a salt sack in the beginning, to protect my arms. Your tack and horses should be clean.
Your headgear is up to you. A hardhat helps but my derbies are harder than my hardhat. However, one doesn’t hunt hounds in a derby so I wear a standard hardhat maybe forty years old. If you feel the need for modern headgear, use it. My take on all this is we do not have the numbers that the NFL does so headgear for horse sports is way behind yet better than earlier gear. Not being a person who relishes doom and gloom, I trust your judgement for yourself.
Boots should be butcher boots or field boots, those are the ones with laces which are so helpful because you can not tightly draw your laces so as your foot swells you aren’t pinched. The color of your boots should match the color of your hat. Newmarkets are canvas and leather. The leather usually matches the color of your hat, brown with brown. If you wear oxblood boots of either type, they are exceedingly handsome, you wear a black cap.
That’s about it. Gloves are not mandatory even on the coldest days. Up to you.
Should you wear a stock, doubtful in the heat, it must not be white for cubbing or bye days. You may also wear a tie or bowtie.
In the heat you are not obliged to wear a vest. Should you wish to wear a vest without a coat in the heat, that’s fine.
Cubbing allows you more personal expression than formal hunting. Bye days likewise. Seeing how people throw themselves together is  half the fun.
Britches should be tan, canary, or brick. No white, that’s formal. Canary is also formal but it’s ok for cubbing. They are the devil to find so most people go out in tan or brick.
Sounds like a lot but it isn’t. One time out there and you’ll be fine.
Oh, no colored saddlepads. White. In the old days people did not use saddle pads but the practice caught on as it does save your saddle from all that sweat.
Given the heat, we won’t be out long until the mercury falls aven a bit. High heat beats up hounds, horses, and humans. And they have fur coats. Worse for them.
Here’s to seeing you all at the Arena Friday the 20th at 8:00 AM. The Run-IN Shed at 8:00 AM Sunday.
Up and Over, RMB
P.S Raingear is permisable. No bright colors. Barbour is the best, costly, but lasts forever.
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P.P.S. The NFL has just put up $3 million as a grant and award on a helmet challenge to create a better helmet.

Fall Hunter Pace September 7, 2019

We had 22 teams ride at Teatime Farm for our Fall Hunter Pace.

Thank you to Lynn Stevenson for handling registration, Kathleen King and Ed Clark for manning the checkpoint, and Mark Catron and Dave and Liz Pritchard for setting up lunch after the ride. Also, thank you to all the members who worked on the trails and who brought something to share at the tailgate. We look forward to seeing you as we begin cub hunting on September 20.
 Our next social event will be an evening of music at Wood Ridge Farm Brewery on October 5. The festivities will begin at 5:30 with 2 bands playing throughout the evening. The food truck will be in full operation and the taps will be flowing, so join us for a night of fun and frolic.
Here are the results of the Hunter Pace.
Ist Flight optimum time 60 minutes
1 Lisa Lefferts and Priscilla Friedberg
2 Cara Potter and Kelly VanScoter
3 Liz Hall and Kathy Eichelberger
4 Eric Northcraft and Becky Birnbaum
5 Sue Migliore and Liz Taylor
2nd Flight optimum time 70 minutes
1 Jane Andrews and Beth Tyler
2 Brooks Arrington, Heather Browning, and Kaitlyn Martin
3 Michael Jackson and Karen Mallins
4 Jackie Bowen, Catherine Foster, and Adriann Haney
5 Jane Eckes
6 Shelly Thompson, Sherry Nedzble, Annie Lichtenstein
Juniors optimum time 70 minutes
1 Ben Dunavant and Nicole Morton
2 Kenzie Miller , Camryn MacDonald, and Anne Morrison
3 Julie and Pippa Cook
4 Sally Fisher, Anna Towns, and Wren Ackerman
Hilltoppers
1 Mary Tousignant, Sarah Ovenshire, and Karen Catron
2 Rena Morse and Kim Bolling
3 Bob and Sue Satterfield and Meghan Custer
4 Diana Hicks and Erin Hartman
Thank you all for your support. See you in the hunt field!
******************

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