It's usually the 2nd week (and 3rd) of October; that way they dont' conflict with the North American Field Hunter Championships (Oct. 1-6 this year) nor hunts' opening meets (end October -- Oct. 26th for many.)
Oh, this sounds amazing and the dates sound doable for me! Wahoo! Can anyone write, or link me to a report of previous years? What are some of the costs like? I just bought my own trailer and I'm dying to hunt state-side (I'm a canuck and this sounds perfect!
If I remember correctly the cost was somewhere around $300 for the entire hunt week. During the past hunt weeks you would be able to go out with 15 or so different hunts over the time period. (No other capping was allowed, it was only open to members and to those that paid to do hunt week.) There were a couple of days that there was no hunting.
The biggest problem for the participants was the fact that you could travel from one corner of the state to another from day to day, which added alot of expense and stress / exhaustion to horse and rider.
The travel issue is not easily over come by just planning to hunt the northern part of the state for days 1-5 and the central part 6-11 and the south western the rest of the time. Planning a hunting season with fixtures is a challenge, but then to try to figure for extra people and on days when your club may not normally hunt. UGGHH, I can't imagine the headaches that go into planning this event.
You can't beat the value for sure. That would cover the cap at 2-4 individual hunts if you were to try and do it outside of the hunt week. Although it would be very hard to do all hunts on one horse. People I know that have done it to the fullest have had 2 horses. I was able to participate one year and had access to a second horse.
It is an experience that I would recommend trying to do.
Ok you guys have got me super excited about this idea! I was going to put my hunt horse up for sale this spring, but I think I'll wait until after hunt week in the fall instead
Ok so I would probably be coming down with one horse who who is a solid hunter but I won't ask her to hunt every day. Are there lots of foot followers, road whips etc I could tag along with when she gets a day off? Are there any 'can't miss' meets/packs that I should plan around attending? Parties? Also, I don't think I'd be able to swing two weeks. Probably 7 days, maybe 10 max. Do you think I'd be wise to split the trip north and south the way jawa recommends, or should I just stick to one spot and get to know it well since I don't have as much time? What is the best location? Please keep in mind I have no experience in VA at all, and while I am familiar with some hunts by name, I really don't know reputations at all. I do love houndwork and big voices, and a good, hard hunt. I'm game in heavy going and have a good horse who's bold and sane, although still young. What do you guys recommend?
Hunters' Rest - how far in advance would you expect your BB to fill up? I'd love a rough idea of how far in advance to confirm accommodations. I either need to find a partner(s) in crime for this, or just go it alone and make new friends down there.
Ah I was so focused on making an Aiken trip happen in the next few years (hunting in the states is on my under 30 bucket list) that I hadn't really thought about VA. I feel like a whole new world is open to me!
Watch out, everybody! After several years of traveling down from frozen New England to hunt in Virginia, I picked up and moved permanently!
I am not the expert on Hunt Week, but I believe Rita Mae Brown, MFH-Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club, was a catalyst in organizing it. I'm planning to speak with her or another master about coming out with them this weekend, so if that works out, I will inquire and report back.
Well, on the days you take off from hunting, you have to make the pilgrimage to Horse Country in Warrenton or other shops up in Middleburg, maybe check out whatever's going on at the Virginia Horse Center, and even if you are not a history person, touring Monticello or Montpelier is truly awesome (aside from possibly souring you on the current pack up in DC, no matter your political stripes).
The organizers (yes RMB started it; she of course partners with the other hunts/masters to arrange the 2 week stint) try to sort-of plan a sensible progression. Some years you'll get lucky and they'll have 'all the northern hunts' in a row, then progress to Keswick and central'ish hunts, then to the east, then to the Valley. Usually it works out that you can base somewhere for a few days, if not a week (up here) and make a nice extended stay.
Then, typically, the hunt the day after HW leaves our NoVa area is close enough you can stay here, for instance, and make it the meet on time - giving you one extra night parked.
There are hirelings most places, so ya'll with just one horse can usually fill-in with a spare every other day or so. There are definitely second fields, it not third fields, with all the host hunts so you can instead, or also, just 'take back' every other day. And like someone said, there are days off sprinkled in there so one can certainly make do with a single horse, and maybe fill in with the odd hireling.
Or, indeed, car follow.
It really is a special thing, this Hunt Week.
Thanks Corky! I am excited! I belong to a couple of these clubs and would love to meet some COTHers! Especially out of towners, and I hope folks who are "just hilltoppers" won't be hesitant to come too, many of the clubs listed offer third flights.