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Ever want to try foxhunting? Consider coming to Va. the second weekend of December

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  • Ever want to try foxhunting? Consider coming to Va. the second weekend of December

    Hope it's ok to post this over here. Hoping for a bit more exposure for folks who may be thinking about trying hunting but hadn't looked into it.

    If you've ever wondered what foxhunting is like, now's your chance to find out. The Snickersville Hounds, located just outside Middleburg, Va., is hosting a COTH hunt December 15. Many of you are familiar with COTH hunts - our very own Hunter's Rest has hosted several and folks have had a great time. HR is has offered to be hunt central once again and is willing to provide accommodations and critters through her b-and-b.

    There's a thread over on the Hunting forum for folks who would like to try it, but here are the details: :-)

    Hoping folks can join us the second weekend of December - spoke to Betsy and she has rooms and horses; spoke to Eva and Gregg and the Snickersville Hounds eagerly await your arrival! Hounds are working well for Eva - so come and share the fun.

    Snickersville is a wonderful pack - great country (Middleburg, along the Snickersville Turnpike and including Sunnybank Farm, home of Robert E. Lee's horse Traveler. His barn is still standing - you have to come see it). The people are friendly and welcoming.

    Steeplchase jockey Colvin "Gregg" Ryan and racehorse trainer Eva Smithwick are the joint masters at Snickersville. Many of you know them both from their days in the steeplechase world. While still involved in that world, they both have turned their attention to foxhunting. Gregg also is master for Piedmont in Upperville. Eva is married to Speedy Smithwick, whose family has owned Sunnybank for four generations. Many of you remember his mother, Dot, who placed Sunnybank in conservation easement a number of years ago. Sadly, Dot is no longer with us, but her legacy lives on through her family and farm.

    In addition to hunting with Snickersville, I'm sure we can put together another fixture or two if folks want more than one day of hunting - that's in the works. :-)

    I'd also like to invite everyone to come for a day in the recently restored Old Town Winchester. There are tons of really cute shops (not a lot of horsey stuff per se, but lots of history: George Washington, TONS of Civil War history since Winchester changed hands 72 times during the War of Northern Agression as it's sometimes known).

    We can have lunch / dinner in Winchester Friday. I'm sure we can find some live music somewhere - there are several venues in Winchester offering it these days. Maybe we will go listen to music at the newly restored George Washington Hotel, a Wyndham Historic property. I have a friend who works there, so they would take excellent care of us.

    Once we get a sense of how many are coming, we will firm up the itinerary. My initial proposal is to have folks arrive Thursday, maybe have a lesson/ride with Betsy Friday morning, come to Winchester Friday afternoon/evening. Then hunt Saturday and Sunday if that works out.

    Ok, let this be your Christmas present to yourself. Who's in??

  • #2
    Are we supposed to bring our own horse? Can you give an estimate of the costs?
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      And if 'borrowable' horses aren't available is hilltopping an option? I own nothing that can jump worth a darn.


      • #4
        I would definitely be interested in a hilltopping option! Please let us know.
        Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


        • #5
          Originally posted by TarheelJD View Post
          I would definitely be interested in a hilltopping option! Please let us know.
          Me too!
          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


          • #6
            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
            Are we supposed to bring our own horse? Can you give an estimate of the costs?
            All this!

            I will have a young'in at Dodon Farm in MD, but she will not be ready to jump, so I will echo the hilltopping question.


            • #7
              Add me to the hilltopping/costs/borrow-a-mount list! I sent you a PM, as well
              "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


              • #8
                Add me to the Hilltopper list. Is there a dress code?
                I wasn't always a Smurf
                Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                • #9
                  Yes, please give us more details! Horses available? Dress code? Costs?

                  This isn't too far from Chantilly, right?
                  My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


                  • #10
                    I might be interested in hilltopping as well on a borrowed mount. Would need to know costs/dress code/etc? Maybe folks might want to carpool too??


                    • #11
                      Can people just come and watch? I've never been to a foxhunt but I'm not far from there and I'd like to go and see what's up. I don't have a horse right now that can really do much nor do I have transport but I'd like to go and volunteer to help or just watch if that's an option.
                      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                      • #12
                        I have done two of the COTH foxhunting weekends with Old Dominion and stayed at Hunter's Rest Farm. I brought my own horse to hilltop and had a great time. However I have seen Betsy's wonderful guest horses and would highly recommend them.
                        I am sure this hunt will be as welcoming as ODH and all the other COTH members from surrounding hunts.

                        I would love to come down to this one but between lack of fitness and finances it is just not in the cards.
                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                          Can people just come and watch? I've never been to a foxhunt but I'm not far from there and I'd like to go and see what's up. I don't have a horse right now that can really do much nor do I have transport but I'd like to go and volunteer to help or just watch if that's an option.
                          Not sure about Snickersville, but the two times I went out with Old Dominion there was a "car hilltoppers" group. If they have that at Snickersville, I am sure someone would let you ride along.

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                          • #14
                            Oh, I would so love to go. I hope you have a wonderful time!



                            • Original Poster

                              So glad to hear from so many folks - hope y'all come out.

                              Hi folks - thanks for all the interest. Snickersville is a very friendly, welcoming group. We always have a second field and are adding a third field for mounted riders. We also have folks who follow in the truck sometimes. If you would to come and car follow, let me know and I can arrange it. :-) Hunter's Rest is taking care of horses and accommodations for folks who need them. Please contact her for details there. On Sunday, I will confirm the cost to cap and will post it in the thread on the Hunting forum.

                              I started foxhunting through my ex-husband, who hunted hounds in New York and other places. One of the best things about hunting: I have learned more about nature through hunting than I did in two years as an undergraduate biology major. You see the natural world in action and begin to understand the relationships there that affect us all.

                              The other thing I like about hunting (in the words of Cooky McClung): if you're still on your horse at the end of the day, you win! That's all the competition I need, personally. But there is plenty of challenge if you want it. I hunt in the second field and we went pretty fast on Wednesday, but not every day is that fast, which for me, is fine. I'm more about being in the natural world, myself.

                              Most horses who hunt and do it well really enjoy it. My pony certainly does. He watches hounds work, kicks himself on and pulls himself up (most of the time; I help some). I let him decide where to put his feet and he has never let me down. We were going through a muddy bottom on Wednesday and the pony is something of a priss and doesn't like to get his feet wet if he doesn't have to, so he will try to skirt around mud if there's room. He was taking a line to the side of a mudpuddle, when the bank we were on kind of gave way. I just stayed in his middle and he never put a foot wrong, shooting through it and coming out the other side in perfect form. I have never been prouder of him.

                              But if you're a newbie, you are welcome to hang in the third field, where you will still be able to see and hear, just not right on top of the action. That's where I started out, way back when my ex was hunting hounds. The sport is a blast and a wonderful way to experience the natural world.

                              Just let us know. :-)


                              • #16
                                I am soooo Jealous!!!!!!! I LOVE FOXHUNTING!!!!!!!!!
                                Draumr Hesta Farm
                                "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                                Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm


                                • Original Poster

                                  I don't think I addressed the dress code issue. We'll be in formal season in December, but for newbies, if you have a black show coat that's heavy, that would be fine. Of course, if it's truly cold out, you would want something heavier than the average show coat. If folks are concerned about clothing, PM me with your size and I'll see what I can come up with in terms of a melton or something. If you have a dark show coat and can put layers under it, you'll probably be fine.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Bumping this for Tuesday evening. If you are planning to come, please let me know if you are bringing a horse, or contact HR if you need a horse to hunt. :-) There will be a third field for newbies, as mentioned before, or if folks want to come and cartop, we can arrange that, but we need to know beforehand, so give me a shout.

                                    Also folks are invited to come out for the afternoon/evening to Winchester. Old Town is recently re-done and there are lots of cute shops and whatnot. There's also live music, so we can go hunt some of that up too. There's a thread in the Hunting Forum if you want to check that out as well.