- By Kristin Warrington
Kristin is the winning author in the 2014 Hildegard Neill Ritchie Foxhunting Writing Contest sponsored annually by the United States Pony Club. The contest is open to all D- or C-rated Pony Club members, whether or not they have hunted. Kristin is a C-1 from the St. Augustine Pony Club, Delmarva Region, and here's her winning story.
The grass is frosted over in the shady areas where the woods touch the long sloping fields. As I trot along, tense and listening, I notice the familiar trails through the trees and undergrowth are wearing recently made hoof prints and accessorized by a lone, twisted horseshoe that seems to have come off an unlucky rider’s mount. They have already been through this way several times, but that is part of my plan. I like to lead them in monotonous circles, repeatedly using the same paths, and drag it out until they are almost desperate enough to call off the hounds and begin a new search, then I take a sudden sprint through an open field allowing them to see me long enough to call out, “Tallyho!” and try desperately to gather up the hounds who are still off in the woods sniffing out my scent. I decide upon this familiar strategy and take a sharp turn up into a large field. I take a quick survey of the surroundings, and feel a sudden gust of courage take over me. Heart pounding with thrill, and my mind marveling at the sheer cleverness of my evasion from my predators, I dash madly between the crowd of horses’ legs.