What does a huntsman do when he finds himself in the autumn of his prime? The same question faces every athlete who commits his or her life to a sport. Some carry on doggedly until they are unable to continue or until their career is terminated by outside forces. Others find a path to contribute their experience and knowhow to the benefit of a new team in a different way.
Barbara Batterton, riding Nicki-Z for the Blue Ridge Hunt, won the Virginia Field Hunter Championships on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Nicki is owned by Blue Ridge MFH Linda Armbrust, who often leads the field on him. An Argentina-bred Dutch Warmblood, Nicki did some showjumping in that country before finding his home in Virginia’s hunt country.
Kathleen O’Keefe, riding for the Casanova Hunt, was Reserve Champion. Best Turned Out was won by Helen Brettell of Middleburg Hunt.
The Virginia Field Hunter Championships were hosted this year by the Fairfax Hunt at Winter Farm in Middleburg, as a result of Fairfax member Karyn Wilson's win last year.
Katherine Gunter and John Dunbar were married on June 9, 2012, at Tybee Island, Georgia.
Katherine has been huntsman for the Aiken Hounds (SC) for the past four seasons. Prior to Aiken, she was professional staff at the Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC) and the Bear Creek Hounds (GA).
John laid the drag for Aiken Hounds for much of this past season, riding western! John's family owns and operates a large cotton farm east of Aiken, and both share a love of fishing and hunting. Katherine and John met through foxhunting friends, Danielle Sertick and Todd Martineau, who will also be married later this summer.
Katherine and John were married on the beach at Tybee with fifty family and friends in attendance. Katherine's bridesmaids were foxhunting friends Mary Taylor Miller (whipper-in for Middleburg Hunt), Ria Burton (whipper-in for Aiken), Christine Raley (wife of Moore County huntsman David Raley), Danielle Sertick (whipper-in for Aiken) and Alison Brown (rider and trainer).
The couple honeymooned in the Florida Keys where they went deep sea fishing for five days. Shortly thereafter they went on another fishing trip off the North Carolina coast with Tony Gammell, huntsman for the Keswick Hunt (VA), Jordan Hicks, huntsman for the Tryon Hounds (NC), and Adrian Smith, huntsman for the Metamora Hunt (MI). Pretty good summer for the newlyweds so far!
Posted July 22, 2012
Linda Knox McLean is MFH of the Aiken Hounds.
This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the completion by Joseph B. Thomas of the stables and kennels at his historic estate in Middleburg, Virginia, aptly named Huntland.
On September 18, 2011, current owner Dr. Betsee Parker marked the anniversary with a luncheon for members of both the Piedmont and Middleburg Hunts. Newly uncovered photographs of the original structure were displayed, and people were free to wander through the stables and kennels.
The meets have been announced for the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships in 2011. For fifty bucks, juniors eighteen-and-under can hunt with other juniors in new surroundings and experience camaraderie; competition; and a variety of hunting countries, foxhound types, and hunt staffs. It’s both fun and educational.