|Sunday, February 27 proved add. All that knee deep mud had mostly dried up. The bitter cold abated, sunshine covered all. Well, good. While the temperature wasn’t hot given the five weeks of storms, snow, sleet, ice it seemed warm.|
Hounds left from the Run-In Shed. Not much was going on. A boo hoo here and there but tepid. As luck would have it, all the older girls were in season so the pack consisted of two made females, three older boys and the rest were male youngsters. The girls never go in season at a convenient time.
After an hour plus of this I decided to try Jim Klemic’s. Might be a little cooler. Once we reached the turkey foot convergence of trails, the one being deep, hounds began to speak, moving north. They hitched it up from a trot to a lope so I did too. At one point Kalie and I stopped as the hounds swept up toward 611 then turned coming back down. They then dipped into the higher land up behind Jim’s house, more or less halfway to 611. By now the pack was back together, all speaking. So I dropped onto the north side of the creek and followed. I turned back but saw no field behind me. Dr. George Lindbeck was out so I looked for his scarlet coat. George can go through or over anything. It occurred to me while battling limbs that perhaps someone popped off. There isn’t much time to ponder these things while hounds are speaking. Took me maybe fifteen or twenty minutes to get through but I wasn’t too far behind. Lost my left earring, cut my ear and cut behind my right wrist. How no idea how. Leapt down onto the sunken trail so I could finally move faster. Hounds had blasted past Jim’s house, into those woods. Do I gallop down the pasture to the uncleared old north river branch trail or do I veer to the right and gallop toward the northern most bridge? There used to be a place there were you could drop down. Hounds began to emerge from the woods so I didn’t have to make a decision. All came out. One had a bloodied ear, those hateful thorns and Puzzle had a cut on his right shoulder. Obviously, they did not give up until the fox was put to ground. Once years ago, we ran a similar pattern and the fox swam across the branch which is pretty easy, the whole pack in pursuit. My whipper-in, Dr. Mary O’Brien, got over there on that 17 hand horse of hers, flew up to the hay storage shed and finally got the pack back. Fortunately, that didn’t happen this time. The former run, of course, meant phone calls and apologies to the landowner who was quite good about it.
But there we were. The pack, myself and not a soul. Headed to the pond to give them a rest and chance to drink and spied Sara Bateman and Amy Walker sitting in the field just off the farm road. Neither one knew where the field was. Just as they stopped speaking, we all heard hoofbeats and here came the entire field, including the four juniors Lynne Beegle Gebhardt brought along with Jim Meister. Later one of the riders who wears those watches telling you how far you have gone testified to seven miles. Well, that had to be seven miles at warp speed. And there was George. So all was well.
You never know, but we all now know with Jane in charge the field will catch up whatever it takes. The path they took was less difficult but still, that was a run. All were lucky most of the mud had dried up. Lots of dry cleaner bills otherwise. Nothing like the horse in front of you throwing up great clods of mud.
Lifted hounds and rode back to the hound trailer. Cut ear and cut shoulder cleaned and fixed. Ears look so bad because they bleed so much. The young boys did okay. Would I have preferred some of the older girls in there? I would. The boys can be easily distracted but once they got good scent they poured it on, steady and true.
Here’s to whatever comes next. Given the heat rising maybe we’ll pick up a vixen in a bikini. Then again we have all been smacked with snowstorms in March and April. Anything goes.
Up and over! RMB
Join in on the search for stuffed animals while riding the fields and wooded trails bordering the Rockfish River behind Wood Ridge Farm Brewery. There will be many animals lurking along the route. “Hunters” who find 3 select animals will be awarded prizes.
PLACE: 165 OLD RIDGE ROAD, LOVINGSTON, VA
TIME: RIDERS OUT 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
All disciplines are welcome.
Bring your own tailgate – no alcohol please,
or buy lunch at the Brewery after the ride.
Entry fee is $40 for adults, $25 for juniors.
Enter and pay online at https://orfhc.square.site/
Printable Entry Form: https://oakridgefoxhuntclub.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/safari-hunt-entry-1.docx
Proof of negative coggins is required.
Boots and helmets must be worn.
Here are the results of the Judged Trail Ride held at Teatime Farm today. Thank you to everyone who endured the heat and humidity to compete in the first ride in the Shenandoah Valley Judged Ride series. The ride hosted by Bedford Hunt is scheduled for June 19. Glenmore’s is July 10 and Rockbridge is July 17. Ribbons will be mailed out to first thru 6 place.Thank you to Mark and Karen Catron, Susan Boone, Becky Birnbaum, Cathy Denton, Kathleen King, Mary Tousignant, Cheryl Tsakis, and Becky Wood for working today and to Mark, Karen, and Susan for cleaning the trails and setting up the course. As always, John Morris put the finishing touch on the course by mowing the trails for us this week. Our events cannot go on without everyone’s help and our volunteers are greatly appreciated.We are holding a sporting clay shoot on June 13 at Teatime Farm from 9 to 1. Please join us. You can contact Mark for details at email@example.com. Let’s hope for cooler weather.
Name Division score
Sue Migliore E 47.5
Cathy Goscha E 47
Barbara Goodson E 46.5
Heidi Davis E 45
Karen Robertson E 44.5
Kate Kane E 44
Allie Raner E 43.5
Lisa Lefferts E 43
Ronnie Thornton E 40.5
Priscilla Friedberg E 39.5
Lynn Rowley E 36.5
Waverly McDavid J 37
Shelly Thompson N 44.5
Amy Walker N 44
Lisa Salopek N 43
Sara Bateman N 42.5
Shannon Critzer N 42
Cindy Simmons N 41
Jessica Swezey N 40
James Swezey N 40
Mary Ann Jacobsen N 39.5
Robin Ellis N 39
Meredith Williams N 37.5
Mary Lee McDavid N 36
Cheri Kula N 35.5
Tracy Ferguson N 35
Nathalie Williams N 34
Chrystal Knick N 33
Brieanna Litter N 32
Elmer Glick N 30.5
Connie Nicholson Price N 25
Jane Johnson N 15.5
As many of you know, Oak Ridge has had to postpone the Hunt Ball due to the COVID-19 restrictions being observed. The event has been has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 27.
Like many clubs, we count on the income from this fundraiser to cover food, care and medical expenses for our hounds.
In order to continue to provide for our hounds, we are offering some of our auction items online for the next 3 weeks. While you “shelter in place,” please consider bidding on some of our terrific auction items:
The auction will run through Sunday April 19, 2020 10:00pm Eastern. The hounds thank you for your support.
Questions on the auction may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- 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 email@example.com for
information and to register. Entry fee $50.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 18: Spring Hunter Pace
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.
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.
OPENING HUNT, NOVEMBER 11, 2018
THE FIVE FOOLISH VIRGINS AND THE FIVE WISE VIRGINS
A MASTER’S PASSION
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,
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.
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.
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.