Elizabeth Green, representing the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA), rode Shelby Bonnie’s Gold for Glory to victory in the Theodora Randolph Field Hunter Championships of America. The trials, founded in 1989, are named for the late Master of the Piedmont, so it is particularly fitting when a Piedmont horse and rider win the championship.
The week-long event attracts foxhunters from across North America. Entries ride with up to four different area hunts over a five-day period, and horse and rider pairs are selected to compete in the final tests and mock hunt by a team of mounted judges. The finals were held on October 7, 2012 at the Glenwood Park Race Course in Middleburg as part of the Virginia Fall Races weekend program.
The tenth annual Junior North American Field Hunter Championship competition is in the offing with this year’s finals scheduled for Sunday, November 4, 2012 at the Radnor Hunt in Chester County, Pennsylvania. What started in Virginia has now spread to neighboring mid-Atlantic states and the number of participating hunts continues to grow.
More than a competition, the main purposes are to expose foxhunters eighteen years of age and younger to a variety of hunting countries, to instill in their young minds the importance of open space preservation if our sport is to continue beyond their lifetimes, and to stress suitability of mount to rider. The concept was hatched ten years ago by Douglas Wise-Stuart, MFH and Iona Pillion, both renowned for their junior foxhunting programs.
Annie Yeager and Mischief scored a hat trick in the Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race at the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point Races on Saturday, March 17, 2012, posting their third win in three starts this year. Mischief passed pace-setter Mariah’s Promise before the last fence to take the lead. Mariah’s Promise challenged in the stretch but had to settle for second place by a head. Mischief is owned by Yeager and trained by Don Yovanovich.
With more than two hundred entries, organizers Douglas Wise, MFH Old Dominion Hounds (VA), and Iona Pillion, Blue Ridge Hunt (VA), were thrilled to observe that the 2011 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship drew the biggest fields to date in the nine years of this unique trial. The program listed twenty-one finalists in Hilltoppers, twenty-two in First Field 12 & Under, and twenty-one in First Field 13 & Over. On November 6, 2011, trailers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia gathered in the heart of the Warrenton Hunt country for what is turning into a huge event that bodes well for the future of foxhunting.
Julie Gomena owned the hurdle races, and Richard Valentine made his statement in the timber races, as both trainers brought home two winners each in the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday March 19.
In this photo, Pizarro (left) with Natalie Wales up and Justpourit with George Hundt, Jr. aboard fight for first in the Owner-Rider Timber Race.