From July 5th through July 10th, Sanna Neilson, MFH, gave twenty-six children the riding experience of their lives. They went Hound Exercising three days and were tutored by Huntsman Barry Magner on the ins and outs of not only etiquette in the field, but hound breeding, conformation, and differen't types of hounds. They learned to "crack the whip" and blow the horn and even though some were hindered by size they kept at it until they were diverted by an ice pop.
They schooled cross-country at a neighbor's beautiful farm with pointers from Allison Chubb. They rode in the show ring with Janice Dugan who challenged them by having them trot to a fence(after previously cantering) and remember their course. Next they learned more cross country skills from our neighbor, 2 time team gold medalist, 2 time team silver medalist, the first American to win the World Championships at Burghley in England, and the first American to win the Badminton**** in which he's competed seven times, Bruce Davidson. Luckily they didn't know all of that and were mostly concerned with getting over the 4'2" log in his field.
Friday started quietly with a ride in the beautiful Runnymede Sanctuary but speed was soon the name of the game when Champion Jump Jockey Jody Petty and Gerard Galligan tought them the thrills of hurdle racing. Afterwards everyone cooled off by swimming their ponies in the pond.
On Saturday, Jennie Branigan channeled her inner Jack le Goff and gave the kids pointers on technique by putting them through a grid. The difficulty was gradually raised as the height of the final jump increased in an informal chase-me-charlie style competition.
The final day was a culmination of the weeks adventures. They competed over parts of the Hunter Trials Course in The Plantation Field in pairs and in teams before moving up to the ring and capping it all off with mounted pony games. Everyone had a fabulous time, especially the adults.
We give our heartfelt thanks to all of our landowners, professionals, parents, and Hunt Staff. A very special thanks to Sanna for making it so much fun
click on picture below to see gallery