with Horse and Hound

On Keeping Children in the Hunting Field

norman_on_SlimKaren Myers photoOne of my recent blogs was titled “Adopt-a-Kid.” It talked about how individual field members can help bring children to the hunting field. Elisabeth Harpham from Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds suggested through the Comments box that we check out what her hunt is doing in Unionville, Pennsylvania. We asked her to tell us, and she did. See her article following this blog.

In addition to the traditional junior activities sponsored by most hunts, the Cheshire Masters recognized that the challenge doesn’t end with simply getting children into the field. You need to offer them enough excitement and incentive to keep them there. Evidently they succeeded, because Elisabeth tells us that in the past six or eight years they have seen a huge increase in the number of children actively hunting.

“Actively” is the operating word here. The Cheshire Masters encourage children to progress out of the third field, and they reward them with a simple incentive when they are capable of hunting in the first field.

Be sure to play the slide show of Elisabeth Harpham’s beautiful photos following her article and see how the children of Cheshire are learning to connect with each other, their fabulous country, and the hounds.

Posted July 22, 2011