with Horse and Hound


Line of hunt horses and riders with mountain in background

Foxhunters, Mustangs, and Pony Clubbers in The Biggest Little City In The World

This January, the United States Pony Club, celebrating its 70th anniversary, held its annual convention in Reno, Nevada.
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Huntsman Sam Clifton with his wife Shannon and son William. Photo by Alaine Papert.

Let’s Go Foxhunting!

Photo by Alaine Papert.
It began with an early wakeup call but the Juniors were eager. Ponies need to be cleaned, stock ties tied, and girths tightened. It was only a matter of time until the courtyard of Colonial Stables in Ligonier, Pennsylvania would be invaded by nearly thirty Juniors who had come to give foxhunting a try with Rolling Rock Hunt. Juniors from Rolling Rock Hunt Pony Club, Ligonier Polo Association, and surrounding lesson stables joined Rolling Rock Hunt for their annual Junior Meet. Sam Clifton, professional huntsman, and Shannon, professional whipper-in, for Rolling Rock Hunt included their son, William. And what a hat!
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FHL Photo by Dominique Morrison

Choose Your Own Adventure!

 FHL Photo by Dominique MorrisonThe Fields of the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships ride by with the venue in the background. Photo by Dominique Morrison.

Four Juniors from Fort Leavenworth Hunt in Kansas had a dream of competing on the national level at this year’s Junior North American Field Hunter Championship in Tennessee. The Championship included a mock hunt on the first day with an individual round on the second day for the top riders. Also included were opportunities to compete in hound judging, horn blowing, and whip cracking. The Kansas Juniors’ preparations took the kids and their parents on an adventure that showered them all with not only knowledge but also increased respect for the sport of Riding to Hounds.

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Mia JR Lobby

No Land Means No Hunting – Junior Members Lobby For Land Conservation


Mia Valdez is a 15-year-old Junior Member of the Keswick Hunt Club and member of the Mountain Skyline Pony Club.  She has an impressive resume of lobbying her state government not once, but twice.  Below is her account of the day.

 Mia JR LobbyVirginia Hunts Juniors met with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Representative Buddy Fowler. Photo by Joseph Svetina.

Photo: Virginia Hunts Juniors met with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Representative Buddy Fowler. Photo by Joseph Svetina.

The topic of this year’s Junior Foxhunting Day was land conservation and how the Virginia Department of Wildlife and Resources supports the efforts of many hunt clubs within the state. The importance of maintaining open spaces, the involvement of Juniors, and educating the general public about foxhunting were all discussed.

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jfhc 2 Photo by Dominique Morrison

A Celebration of the Sport for Juniors

 jfhc 2 Photo by Dominique MorrisonThe 2023 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship. Photo by Dominique Morrison.

“The future of our sport and land”

The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship, or JNAFHC, founders Douglas Wise-Stuart, MFH of Old Dominion Hounds, and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt had a dream, “Bring children to new hunting countries and open their eyes to the fact that these playgrounds don’t just happen to be there for them by chance but have been nurtured and conserved for the perpetuation of wildlife, open space, and for those who treasure the natural world.”

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Foxhunting Junior Will Represent U.S. in Endurance World Championship

Charly.roo.qualifyingCharlene "Charly" Dugan and Southern Justice (Roo) in a CEI Young Rider 2* at Broxton Bridge in South Carolina, a qualifier for the World Championship squad.  /   Becky Kirchner Pearman photo

Charlene “Charly” Dugan is a busy teenager. Let’s start with horses. The sixteen-year-old is a foxhunter and endurance rider. She and her mom, Sally Jellison, own and train field hunters and endurance horses at their farms in Pennsylvania and Florida. They hunt primarily with the Rose Tree Blue Mountain Hunt (PA) and the Live Oak Hounds (FL).

In the world of endurance riding, Charly is one of three young riders chosen by the U.S. Endurance Team to represent this country in the 2021 FEI Endurance World Championship for young riders and juniors. The seventy-five-mile competition is scheduled to be held this year on September 9 in Ermelo, the Netherlands, and will host top young riders from around the globe.

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live oak challenge award

De La Brooke Tops Hunts in 2020 USPC Foxhunting Challenge

live oak challenge award

De La Brooke Pony Club topped seven North American Pony Clubs in the annual United States Pony Club Foxhunting Challenge Award. Marty and Daphne Wood, Joint-Masters of the Live Oak Hounds (FL), established and funded the annual Challenge Award to reward those Pony Clubs and hunts across North America that work together proactively in giving Pony Clubbers the opportunity to foxhunt.

Last season seven Pony Clubs and their local hunts accepted the Challenge, accounting for more than 420 days in the hunting fields for the young riders. In order of the Award placings, the Pony Clubs are: De La Brooke Pony Club, hunting with the De La Brooke Foxhounds (MD); St. Margaret’s, hunting with the Marlborough Hunt (MD); Ochlockonee, hunting with the Live Oak Hunt (FL); Blue Mountain, hunting with the Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunt (PA); Old Dominion, hunting with the Old Dominion Hounds (VA); Cedar Knob, hunting with the Cedar Knob Hounds (TN); and Portneuf Valley, hunting with the Red Rock Hounds (NV). The top participating Pony Clubs receive cash awards donated by the Woods.

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young handler at honiton.sarah farnsworth

Young Handlers Classes Popular in UK

young handler at honiton.sarah farnsworthCaptain Ian Farquhar and young handler at the West of England Hound Show, Honiton, in 2018  /  Sarah Farnsworth photo

In response to the success and popularity of the Young Handlers Class established at the West of England hound show at Honiton, the organisers of The Harrogate and Peterborough hound shows have decided to hold their own young handlers classes for all hunts exhibiting at these shows in 2019.

Young Handlers Classes have been held for a great many years in the United States, chiefly at the Virginia and Bryn Mawr Hound shows, so we were delighted when, in the summer of 2016, the first Young Handlers Classes were held in England at some of our northern shows. The enthusiasm and zeal of these youngsters was remembered by those who ‘organise,’ and the following year at Honiton a full class of twenty youngsters put themselves forward to compete for the Captain Ronnie Wallace MFH Perpetual Memorial Trophy. The winner also received a hunting horn, and rosettes commemorating their participation were awarded to all entrants.

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JRs Photo by Rick Stillings 1

Kids Star at All-Junior Handlers Hound Show

JRs Photo by Rick Stillings 1Judges Graham and Sheri Buston make certain that every competitor at the Junior Handlers Hound Show gets their undivided attention and assistance. / Rick Stillings photo

More than thirty children, ranging in age from fourteen months to sixteen years, enjoyed a day showing, learning, and making new friends at the Central Virginia Young Entry Junior Handlers Hound Show on June 10, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. This unique event offered a full schedule just for youngsters, including four showmanship sections, a retired foxhound class, a modified pack class, and horn blowing and whip cracking contests.

The emphasis was on creating a fun, welcoming day for juniors from any background—even those with no previous foxhunting or hound showing experience. Keeping with this accommodating theme, organizers invited bassets and beagles to compete, as well as foxhounds.

Judges Graham and Sheri Buston, huntsman and whipper-in at the Blue Ridge Hunt, perfectly combined cheerful patience and helpful suggestions with keen professional eyes for pinning the best exhibitors in each event. Foxfield Racing Association kindly offered use of their lush green course just outside Charlottesville as the beautiful venue.

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Fifty-six Juniors Vie for JNAFH Championships at Belle Meade

jnafhc17.finalistsFifty-six junior finalists line up for their commemorative photo at Foxboro, home of Belle Meade Master and host Epp Wilson. / Eric Bowles photo

Junior foxhunters, their horses, parents, and friends traveled from thirteen states to Thomson, Georgia, where the Belle Meade Hunt hosted the finals of the fifteenth annual Junior North American Field Hunter Championships on November 11-13, 2017.

Throughout the course of the informal season, hunts around the country held qualifying meets from which the young finalists were chosen by mounted judges. Of the 216 juniors who qualified to compete in the finals, fifty-six young riders from eighteen North American hunts—more than twenty-five percent of those qualified—traveled to Belle Mead to hunt, compete, see old friends, and make a pile of new friends. And did they have a wonderful time! It was truly a pleasure to see.

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