It was a really fun evening April 21 at the Thrills Chills and Spills Party celebrating the Rocky Fork hunt riders who unintentionally parted from their mount the past hunt season. Each of the “fallen” shared their story about how their particular contact with the ground took place.
Of course, few stories could be substantiated but sometimes you cannot hide the evidence…..
Also recognized at our end of season annual event was several of our hunt members and their mounts. Not shown are our star pace volunteers Brian and Becca, Brianne and Doug,
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.
The first MFHA Central District Meeting held September 15 – 17, 2017 at our home territory in Gahanna. In addition to Rocky Fork Headley Hunt members, there was representation from the Waterloo Hunt (Michigan), Camargo Hunt (Cincinnati), and Miami Valley Hunt (Dayton). The meeting was an opportunity to build many new relationships. Participants discussed a variety of topics affecting Hunt Clubs including land constraints, hunting legislation, recruitment of members 501(c)3 options and how hunts can better communicate to avoid event conflicts.
In addition to the formal business meeting and dinner Saturday night, there was a Friday night reception, Saturday morning hunt and brunch, and a Sunday trail ride, There was tremendous support from our membership in all of the events, which made the visiting hunts feel very welcomed. A special thanks to our amazing landowners, and volunteers for making this event a success.
The Thrills, Chills and Champagne Chills party, held every year at the close of the Hunt season, is one of Rocky Fork Headley Hunt’s most popular events. Wonderfully planned by our social chair, Melissa, the TSC, fueled by a chicken and champagne dinner, went off without a hitch on the beautiful, sunny (and windy) April day.
The event showcases year end awards for Best Hunt Horse, Most Courteous Rider, Best Whipper-in and Volunteers of the Year. This season’s Best Hunt Horse award went to Midnight, owned and ridden by Mark Masters. The most courteous rider was Mara Lewis. The Best Whipper-in award went to Charles Dougan. Along with Anne Kennedy (who can forget the Tally Hoedown?), Charles was also awarded Volunteer of the Year.
And then, the party moved on to the tales of woe! Everyone who had an unplanned dismount got to put their own spin on the hapless episode. It is not a requirement to speak, but our members can turn equivocation into an art form, to the delight of the nearly 50 in attendance. The Elite Eight were: Susie Preston, Mark Masters, Dennis Brandon, Rosalind Mercier, Diane McMullen, Lorraine Teets, Sally Crane Cox, and Bruce Mandeville.
In a touching tribute to all our hunt mounts, Charles proclaimed his horse, Remington, a saint for taking care of him after a dizzying encounter with a tree at Gibson Custer …and for keeping the truth of that day under his saddle. Charles played the starring role in the premier of the indie film production “Knocked Out Cold”to track down the dastardly Tree Who Done It to him.
The season ending party is a tribute to the good humor and camaraderie of our members. We are again grateful to end our season without serious injury to hound, horse or rider in the hunt field. And we can’t wait to see what the upcoming hunt season will bring!
The members of Rocky Fork Headley Hunt celebrated the 2017 running of the Kentucky Derby with a gathering at The Old Horseshoe Inn in Johnstown Ohio that is owned and operated by hunt members, Dave and Susan Straub. Members enjoyed a lovely buffet and signature drinks served from 4:30 to 7:30 while watching the races leading up to the annual run for the roses. Two people picked the winning horse, Always Dreaming, and split a sizable cash prize.
Following the race, a contest for best Derby Day attire was held, and judges selected the best hat and best tie. It was a tough competition! The winner of the best hat was Beth for her original homemade hat that exuded scenery of Churchill downs with horses, racetrack elements and a real birds nest. The winner for the best tie was Tim with his multi colored horse tie. Winners were awarded a pair of 2017 Derby glasses with a bottle of Markers Mark.
We would like to thank all those who supported and made the Derby Day a fun celebration; Dave and Susan Straub, Polly Lindeman, and the Rocky Fork Hunt social committee.
Redtail Ridge Farm – is a 97-acre equestrian facility located in Johnstown, Ohio, offering clinics in English-seat disciplines; hunter paces; private instruction, training and sales.
Ohio Horseman’s Council – is a non-profit corporation organized in the state of Ohio to provide a vehicle for equine owners and supporters to share ideas and suggestions for all horse related issues, through education, organized trail rides, and other social and service functions. Their on-line calendar lists horse related activities and events throughout the state of Ohio.