Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point

piedmontptp22.maiden timber.leesMaiden Timber Race: (l-r) Profiteer (Eric Poretz up) finishes third; Cracker Factory (Brett Owings) places second; Ya Boy Ya (McLane Hendriks) is first. / Douglas Lees photo

Piedmont ran seven races over the Salem Race Course in Upperville, Virginia on Saturday, March 26, 2022―four timber races and three on the flat.

McLane Hendriks rode two winners this day, book-ending the day’s races. His first came in the First Race, Maiden Timber, and his second in the Seventh Race, Virginia VHBPA Flat. In the Maiden Timber, Hendriks held Ya Boy Ya off the pace, content leading the middle runners in the six-horse field most of the way around. In the final quarter he asked his horse and won the race in the stretch by a length-plus. The Irish-bred Ya Boy Ya is owned by Bon Nouvel Chasers II and trained by Julie Gomena.

Warrenton Point-to-Point Attracts Strong Entries to Airlie hurdleFirst Race, Open Hurdle, (l-r) Decisive Triumph (#4), (Jamie Bargary up) is the winner. Gerard Galligan on Bet The Pot finishes third.  /   Douglas Lees photo

Spectators and horses enjoyed a comfortable day of racing over the Airlie racecourse at the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Entries were strong, especially in the hurdle races. There were just two, Open and Maiden, but the latter was broken into three divisions of seven to eight entries in each, making the eight-race card more like a ten-race day.

Rappahannock Kicks Off Virginia’s Point-to-Points

rappahannock ptp 2022.small ponyChewy, Will Slater up, wins the Small Pony Race. 

Rappahannock wisely and prominently promoted the rain date for their first-of-the-season race day, knowing all too well the vagaries of Virginia weather in early March. Fortunately, on March 5, 2022, the scheduled date was a highly pleasant day to spend outdoors at the new steeplechase course on Larry Levy’s Hill Farm just outside Culpeper, Virginia. A week later, as I sit filing this report, snow is still falling on three inches of the stuff already on the ground.

Seven races were carded: three pony races on the flat―Small, Medium, and Large―and two Timber Races followed by two flat races. Of a total of twenty-eight entries for all seven races, nearly half―sixteen entries―were ponies. I hope the strong showing of pony entries interests other race planners looking forward.

Why We Cover the Hunt Races

The first point-to-point race of the 2022 season is scheduled in Virginia for March 5 (rain date, March 12). The eighth and final hunt point-to-point of the season will be run on May 1. Foxhunting Life reports on most of these jump races as the season progresses. Some readers across North America might wonder why.

the first steeplechase 

My answer is threefold: first, the very notion of a steeplechase race originated with foxhunters; second, many of our great field hunters have come from the ranks of the timber horses and conversely, many of the best steeplechase horses have their start in the hunting field; and third, most of the steeplechase jockeys are foxhunters as well.

Legendary Show Jumper Snowman Took the Kids Foxhunting

  harry deleyeron SnowmanHarry deLeyer and Snowman

Harry deLeyer, born in the Netherlands in 1928, died last summer at the age of ninety-three.

After the Nazis rolled over the Low Countries and much of the European Continent in the spring of 1940, Harry's family farm became a way-station for the Dutch resistance during World War II. Fallen Allied airmen attempting to return to their bases in England and Jews attempting to escape capture by the Nazis were sheltered in a cellar secretly dug out next to the barn and covered by a manure pile. After Allied bombing raids, twelve-year-old Harry would ride out at night, helping to search for surviving Allied airmen. One pilot died of his injuries at the deLeyer farm. Harry' father buried him and mailed the dog tags to his family in North Carolina. Five years after the war ended, the pilot's parents sponsored the deLeyer Family to emigrate to North Carolina. A few years later, the deLeyer family moved to Long Island, and Harry became a riding instructor at an all-girls school. And he needed one more school horse.

Theodora Randolph Field Hunter Championship 2021

TAR grand championField Hunter Champion Gabrina Von Schweez ridden by Lindsey Williamson.   /   Middleburg Photo

I watched for glimpses of red and gold in the forests along the highway as I headed North on Saturday, October 2, 2021. But, no, not a glimpse of any color but green. Virginia wasn’t far enough north of Georgia, where my horses and I foxhunt with Belle Meade Hunt, or South Carolina, where I live and work. Fall and cooler temperatures had yet to arrive in Virginia. It’s still hot.

My F250 and four-horse trailer were fully loaded, hauling three horses to Middleburg, where I would stay through the end of the coming week. Four days of foxhunting with four different hunts were in my plans as a judge in the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships: hunting in the field every day with the competitors and then riding in the finals on Saturday, October 9, at Glenwood Park. The final tests and awards in the morning would lead up to the Virginia Fall Races in the afternoon.

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