Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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woodford.2012.2Chris Ryan sets exercises to benefit horses and riders of all levels. / Alys Emson photo

For the second consecutive year, Chris Ryan, MFH of the Scarteen Black and Tans in Ireland crossed the Atlantic to impart some of his knowledge and experience to participants in the Woodford Hounds Hunt Clinic held over the Labor Day weekend at the kennels in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Chris has been Master of the Scarteen since 1987, and the hounds have been in the trusted care of the Ryan family for over 350 years.

The clinic was held for three days with divisions for the open horse and rider as well as for green horses and for hilltoppers over the three-day period. Overwhelmingly, the results were positive. Chris's teaching style leaves one a more positive, confident rider. He pushes and pushes and gets results. He even had some of the participants jumping wire, after explaining that we must be prepared to jump what is encountered in the hunting field.

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woodford_blessing1Anne Eberhardt Keogh photo
The Woodford Hounds (KY) held their Opening Meet on Saturday, November 26, 2011. The Blessing of Hounds was performed at Shaker Village in front of the Center Family Dwelling on Main Street.

The Woodford and Shaker Village enjoy a symbiotic relationship. The hunt kennels and club property share part of Shaker Village's northwestern boundary. Shaker Village very graciously allows us to hunt their more-than 3,000 acres. In turn we keep paths mowed throughout a section of Shaker Village known as Little Texas. We also refer to, promote, and encourage use of Shaker Village's lodging, dining, and stabling to our out-of-town visitors and others. We are a public-relations resource for them.

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080Chris Ryan, MFH and huntsman, Scarteen Foxhounds, Co. Limerick, IrelandFifty riders from four states converged on the Woodford Hounds’ kennels September 3 to 5, 2011 for a foxhunting clinic featuring Chris Ryan, MFH and huntsman of the Scarteen Black and Tans, County Limerick, Ireland. For those who haven’t ridden with Chris, it is a life-altering experience that centers on safety, preparation, and fun.

Chris taught three levels of riders: those already riding first flight, green but gutsy riders ready to move up, and second flight members wanting to ride more aggressively to follow and enjoy hounds better. Each group practiced many of the same exercises, which were designed to perfect straightness and pace.

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