Thirty-three riders braved the damp weather on Saturday, November 4, to participate in the Blessing of the Hounds ceremony. The ensuing two-hour hunt was fast and furious, with the hounds giving voice through much of it. Huntsman Sally Crane Cox and her crew were able to lead the hounds to the picnic shelter where spectators were awaiting their arrival. After the hounds were loaded safely into the hound truck, the riders were served libations and the spectators happily mingled with the smiling, exhilarated riders. Afterwards, more than 90 riders and friends—including many Pony Clubbers–enjoyed a delicious brunch at the Rocky Fork Hunt and Country Club, arranged by Melissa Will.

The Reverend Maggie Leidheiser-Stoddard, assisting Priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Worthington was our officiant at the Blessing. Our bagpiper, who led the procession of riders into the semi-circle, was Scott Caputo, the Pipe Major of the Capital City Pipes and Drums.

Our official photographer was Chuck Miele, whose photographs can be found at  chuckm.exposuremanager.com.  There are some wonderful photos; please take a look.  John McKean, another professional photographer who rode in the Blessing, took many lovely candid photographs and has posted them on the Rocky Fork Headley Hunt Facebook page.

And if you want to experience he Blessing Hunt from the comfort of your chair, be sure, check out John McKean’s video of the whole ride. Maybe next year you can join in the fun!

A particular thank-you to all the volunteers who made the Blessing of the Hounds the smoothest-run Blessing to date.