As an avid foxhunter, I have hunted for the past three seasons with the Rolling Rock Hunt. The three seasons that I have hunted have been great, but the best has been this season. The foxhunting season runs from August to April. Although this season is my favorite, my first two where very educational and a lot of fun.
My first season at Rolling Rock, I rode in the second flight and the back of first flight. When I was riding I made sure that I paid attention to what was going on around me. I would move to the side and turn my horse’s hindquarters away from the Huntsman and staff. In September, we have a junior meet for our Pony Club riders. At the meet, I was chosen to help lead first flight for that hunt day. My first season is when I fell in love with foxhunting.
During my second season, I got to ride one of the Huntman’s ponies named Champ. Since I started riding this pony, I got to go out and ride with the staff on some of the hunts. Just like the season before we had a junior meet, but on this junior meet I was chosen to ride with the Huntsman. I got to watch the hounds work and listen to the sound of the Huntsman’s horn. At our opening meet I was chosen for the Junior Hunter Award. This award was given to me because I was the junior that hunted the most that year. My second season was better than my first season. I learned much more foxhunting etiquette than in the previous one.
This season has been the best season of them all. During our junior meet I was once again chosen to ride with the Huntsman. This year I have been part of the staff, riding as a whipper-in. When you are staff, you get a lot of respect from everyone in the field and the hounds. I have recently been riding on my own without any other staff with me. I have to know the area that we are hunting and learn all of the hounds’ names. This season of foxhunting has been much more intense than any other season I have hunted. I have also gotten to hunt in New York, Philadelphia, and I am going to Virginia at the end of February. Foxhunting is a great experience and I think that more Pony Clubbers should get to enjoy it.
Pictured Above- Sara McLean on Champ, with former MFH Mrs. Burt Todd. Photo by Dennis Swogger