Farmington at Belle Meade January 2017

Farmington travels to Belle Meade,
January 19-21 Foxhound Performance Trials
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The FHC riders Jan 20, 2017 l-r: Joy Crompton,Pippa Cook, Cece Williamson,Matthew Cook, Tom Bishop, Anita Vere-Nicoll, Robin Ellis, Stephanie Guerlain, Liz King, Kay Barquin, Andrea Guzinski, photo courtesy of Stephanie Guerlain

Event report, by Beth Sutton, Photos courtesy Stephanie Guerlain and Liz King

Farmington logged in another first to begin the New Year by entering the Hound Performance Trials hosted by Belle Meade in Thomson, GA on January 19, 20 and 21: the first time ever that our hounds had traveled to compete in a performance trial. At a joint hunt with Belle Meade Hounds, along with Bull Run (Culpeper), Bridlespur (St. Louis), Mill Creek (Illinois) and Fox River Valley (Illinois and Georgia). If you’re not familiar with what a performance trial is, just ask Belle Meade MFH and host Epp Wilson.
“It’s like a joint meet on steroids,” he explained with enthusiasm, “It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on!” Before the event I had a chance to correspond with Epp Wilson, the organizer of the event. He recommended reading the chapter at the end of the MFHA book,A Centennial View, Foxhunting in North America Today,(Derrydale Press, 2009) to get an overall picture of the performance trial competition.  He elaborated "We are excited to have Farmington participating! The first time this year! Our Performance Trials are one of my favorite events of the year. They are a wonderful way for hunts to play together. They are like a joint meet on steroids.Lots of fine people all passionate about fox hunting – the greatest sport in the world.The competition is both fun and serious. Everyone is pulling for their own hounds, of course, and cheering on the best of every pack - that is, if they are not too busy holding on for dear life. The performance trial packs are the all-stars of fox hunting. The cream rises to the top. And the cream from all these fine packs – well – they are incredible to behold. If there is an ounce of scent, they will provide good sport. If scent is good they will put on one helluva show. And they change the dynamics of the hunting day.The coyotes are expecting my standard pack. This performance trial pack of champions puts lots more pressure on them – and changes the game – ramping the level of sport up by several notches.As a result, the critters tend to change their patterns and tactics. So, we all have to be on our toes big time. Anything can happen.

Riding in the field during the trials in Fitzpatrick, AL 20 years ago – I was on my good mare, Honor, who was used to me hunting the hounds – and being first. She did not understand being behind, so she was pulling like hell. As we galloped along mile after mile through mud – she got into the zone and did an incredible job. One particular gallop down a greasy slick hill, Honor was getting fatigued – over half the field had given up and pulled up. I remember thinking that the only thing between me and total disaster was a handful of leather and the grace of God. She got her third wind and was one of the few to finish the day. She gained a whole new level of respect from me that day.

Short version. It is almost always the finest sport we have all year."
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Epp Wilson and Charlie Lewis, MFH Belle Meade, January 19

 Farmington was well represented by seventeen hunting members who drove with horses the 8 ½ hours south to southwest Georgia to watch six of our finest hunt with the large combined pack led by guest Huntsman S.L. Clifton from Green Spring Valley in Maryland. Joy Crompton reported, “6 hunts participated and were allowed to enter 6 hounds. We took Diglet, Comet, Olive, Robber, Ripper, Briar and Cupcake. And were given nice kennel run with attached stall complete with bench for them to sleep. As Robin, CeCe, Anita and Joy came a day early, we helped walk out hounds with Matthew and Pippa on Thursday. The following members represented Farmington Hunt: Joy Crompton, MFH. Anita Vere-Nicoll, Liz King, MFH, Carolyn and Ken Chapman(honorary whippers in),Stephanie Guerlain, and her guest Andrea Guzinski, CeCe Williamson, FHC President Mark Thompson and Shelly, Robin Ellis,Kay Barquin, Evie Cowles, Kim and Chris Middleton, Matthew and Pippa Cook, and ex-MFH and honorary whipper-in Tom Bishop.
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from left: KenChapman,JoyCrompton(hidden),CeCe Williamson,Robin Ellis,KayBarquin,AnitaVere-Nicoll,Chris Middleton, KIm Gall,MatthewCook,LizKing,Shelly and Mark Thompson,EvieCowles,StephanieGuerlain,CarolynChapman,TomBishop

Here are a few comments from the FHC gang:
Thank You Stephanie Guerlain for all the photos and videos that call all be seen on our FHC Facebook page. She reports:

“It was a blast! Belle Meade was incredibly accommodating of all of us, and it was nice to have everything in one place, clubhouse, stabling, hounds, and the hunts! Great southern food was prepared each day and plentiful drink was available, starting with the Stirrup Cups at 7:30am each morning. The 3rd flight field master was excellent (can't comment on the others), always putting us in a good spot to see the action. It took a few hours to get a good chase going on the first day, but we hit on an incredible run (45 minutes?) almost immediately on the 2nd day, which was a good thing as we were able to then come in before the DOWNPOUR started (at least many of us got in in time, others were not so lucky). We hunted in two directions right from the Kennels. The first day was through Pine forests, relatively flat but many "down/up" water crossings which were preferable to the rickety-looking swaying wooden bridge that we crossed several times! The second day was across the street and had territory more similar to ours with lots of fields and wider paths through mature woods. We passed a waterfall/dam that was built in the late 1700s. Bull Run won the championship the first day, not sure about 2nd day, but I'm sure you can find out the results. I believe Comet was 3rd in one of the categories( Trailing division, 2nd day). Each hunt was allowed to have one judge, ours was Carolyn Chapman. There was an independent huntsman, Sam Clifton, from Green Springs I believe. Most other huntsmen tried to stay incognito so as to not distract their hounds. The hounds ran very well as a group and were very responsive to the huntsman. It was fun to hear all the English chaps chatting with each other in the barnyard. Almost felt like I was in England! Friendly, food, fun, and FAST sums it up. Their 3rd flight was as fast as our first flight (just no jumping).”

Anita Vere-Nicoll: “Great fun was had by all beasts and humans. "Ware hole," was a common theme however not even the rain and thunder could dampen the spirit. Should the occasion come around again I highly recommend the excursion!! Thank you masters and Mathew for allowing us all the opportunity!
Belle Meade certainly knows how to put on a performance trial.”
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Jean Derrick's Cottage next to Belle Meade Stables, Stirrup Cup, Friday January 21

Mark Thompson, Kim and Chris Middleton agreed that the Georgia hunting was “fast, and vast!” and Matthew Cook was happy with the fact that no one got lost, hurt or had any problems or issues. “ Our hounds did well, considering the speed of the other hounds they were up against.” Matthew was pleased with the overall performance and stamina not only of our hounds, but also the FHC riders who kept up in the large fields (huge number of riders-both days), and happy we had such a large entourage that attended. ”We definitely had the biggest entourage of any hunt there,” he said –“It was really great!”

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Matthew and Pippa Cook (l), CeCe Williamson, Tom Bishop (r) Friday Jan 21

In the final results, FHC Comet placed third in the “Trailing” division the second day, coming in behind good company with Bull Run’s hound winning the overall Championship.
The whole experience was a resounding success on all fronts, according to everyone who went. It was just a very long way to go-but definitely worth the effort. Look for more comments and accounts on Facebook with details and results to come soon in “Fox Tracks”. Look for the next issue of Foxhunting Life: Report from Norm Fine on the Performance Trials, plus a special interview with our huntsman Matthew Cook by Elizabeth h."Beth" Sutton

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Ken Chapman, "what a great organization Belle Meade has, great people,great to be there!"

Thanksgiving Meet and Junior Day

Thursday November 24 and Saturday November 26, 2016
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A record crowd of family, friends and riders came out to celebrate the awarding of colors and blessing of the hounds ceremony at a special hunt meet at the Birdsalls's Mint Meadows,Thursday November 24th. MFH W.Patrick Butterfield awarded FHC Belgian blue colors to members who "maintain the traditions of the Farmington Hunt". This year's recipients were Ann Horner, Taryn Cowles and Tiffany Snell. A special surprise was presented to Emma Bittle in the form of a beautiful coat, given by longtime senior member Sara Lee Greenhalgh from Poolesville MD. Bobbie Wells and BJ Korol proudly presented the coat to Emma in honor of her outstanding help as assistant whipper -in and strong participation in the field, as members and mentors including Carter McNeely looked on. Mrs. Greenhalgh, now retired from hunting at age 87, wanted the coat to go to a young member of the field who deserved special thanks and would carry on the proud traditions of the hunt. Special pins were presented by MFH Elizabeth King to a number of junior riders including Pippa Cook, daughter of Matthew Cook, our huntsman.Charlotte Bassett also received Jr.recognition, along with Hannah Buss,Maggie Kittrell and Taylor Overman. Reverend Dale Dealtrey blessed the hounds according to the centuries old service honoring St. Hubert, patron saint of the hunt, along with special words crafted by FHC member, former MFH and author Robert Ashcom. Here are a few photos from Thanksgiving, courtesy of Cathy Summers and Stephanie Guerlain. For complete albums visit Cathy Look for Bob's and Stephanie's photos on our FHC facebook page!

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Rev.Dale Dealtrey with hounds and hunt staff Tom Bishop, Deborah Wray and Matthew Cook

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Bobbie Wells presented a coat given by senior member Sara Lee Greenhalgh to Emma Bittle

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Taryn Cowles, Evelyn Cowles, and former FHC President R.R. Cowles, DVM

November 26th, Junior Day at Rolf and Margaret Hueppi's Horseshoe farm

Junior riders came out in numbers on Saturday after Thanksgiving to enjoy a special hunt meet at the home of FHC members Rolf and Margaret Hueppi. FHC welcomed  visiting fox hunters to this special junior meet, some of whom were experiencing the sport for the first time thanks to coaches and horse providers Liz King of Millington Stable,Martha Drum, Easy Keeper farm and 4H Albemarle leader Jenn Daly. A fine time was had by all, thanks to the generous hospitality of the Hueppi family. Photos courtesy of Bob Haschart and Cathy Summers

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Rolf Hueppi with guests at the meet at Horseshoe

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Martha Drum with juniors

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FHC staff, hounds and riders cross the S. Fork of the Rivanna river below the red cabin at Horseshoe farm

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Hilltoppers and guests with Liz King, Connie Laudenschlager and Ebeth Brann successfully viewed the fox just below the residence at Horseshoe

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Riders and friends enjoyed a delicious breakfast following the hunt, hosted by the Hueppi family





W.Coleman, Sr. wins Virginia Field Hunter Championship 2016

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FHC lifetime member Ellie Wood Baxter congratulates Keswick Hunt's William Coleman Sr  and "Flying Ace",Winner of the 2016 Virginia Field Hunter Championship (R. Haschart photo)

See more Haschart photos

see Rick Stillings Photos


November 6 2016 FHC hosted the 2016 Virginia Field Hunter Championships at the hunt club kennels on Wesley Chapel Road, Free Union, VA on a perfect Sunday fall afternoon.A full crowd of friends and spectators watched Carolyn Chapman, 2015 champion as she led a field of 15 riders representing eight hunt clubs from around the state. Keswick had two riders: Jennifer Nesbit and William Coleman Sr,Bedford sent Sarah Baker and Lorin Shellenberger,Loudon Fairfax was represented by Larry Campbell and Astrid Harber,Middleburg's  Devon Zebrovious won the prize for "Best Turned Out" and Teresa Croce won Reserve Champion on Graylord Woods. Old Dominion was represented by Sarah Crocker,Piedmont's Mclelle Craig competed along with Rockbridge's Elizabeth Hall, Warrenton's Amy Robinson and Beth Woodson. Judges were previous FHC Virginia Field Hunter Champions Robert Ashcom, Mark Thompson, FHC President, Thomas Bishop former MFH, and W. Patrick Butterfield, FHC MFH. Farmington Hunt first hosted the inaugural Virginia State Field Hunter Trial championship in 1950. Photos by Robert Haschart

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Carolyn Chapman leads the field in a mock hunt, pictured here followed by Wm Coleman SR and M.Craig

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Coleman and Flying Ace in the hack class

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Devon Zebrovious-Middleburg(left) Best Turned Out award winner with Elizabeth Hall from Rockbridge

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Teresa Croce from Middleburg and Greyland Woods (owned by Karen Martz), Reserve Champions


Fall Hunter Pace Results 11-6-2016

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Results and event report by Kip Holloway, event manager

Hunt/Jump Division:
1st - Paula Griggs
2nd - Robin Ellis, Anita Vere Nicoll, Joy Crompton
3rd - Ginny Perrin, Jennifer Berdell, Christy OHaviano, Kirsten Knull
4th - Jebb Cuthbert, Kaitlyn Schmitt, Taylor Overman

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Winners-Pleasure Division Allyson Louthan and Shelley Payne (B.Sutton Photo)

Pleasure Division:
1st - Allyson Louthan, Shelley Payne
2nd - Alice Mueller, Charlene Isner, Barbara Culbert, Ethnie Gillespie
3rd - Erin Furrow, Miley Pace
4th - Donna Martin, Melanie Mervis, Julie Williamson

Junior Division:
1st - Isabella Karr, Emily Sears
2nd - Josie Galvin, Jeni Galvin, Katie Sears, Kristina Karr
3rd - Sophie Ogilvie, Mimi Paixao
4th - Juliana Mallia, Tina Mallia


The Farmington Hunter Pace could not have been blessed with a more spectacular fall day. We had a total of 127 riders enjoy a fun course through Dr. Wellon’s, Travis Bailey’s, Dr. Barr’s and Susan McConnell’s gorgeous properties. We are extremely appreciative of these land owners generosity. I dare say there is not a more beautiful setting anywhere.

Riders came from near and far to enjoy the day, the course, and the views.
Our Pleasure Division had 25 teams with the winning team of Allyson Louthan and Shelley Payne riding the course in 1 hour, 27 minutes.
The Hunt/Jump Division had 12 teams with the solo winner, Paula Griggs, finishing in 59 minutes
And the Junior Division had 9 teams with the winning team of, Isabella Karr and Emily Sears, completing the course in 1 hour, 16 minutes.

It goes without saying that this event would not have happened without the many volunteers. Matthew and Julie spent countless hours getting the course set and marked. For a second year in a row, Rachel Flor, did the timing with great efficiency and accuracy. She was ably assisted by her mom, Helen. When the trailers started rolling in, I was so thankful to have Chris Cuthbert and Jon Elliott directing traffic, and BJ Korol, once again, handling all secretarial duties with Lynne Taylor and Beth Sutton by her side. After everyone finished the great ride, Nancy Howell had a delicious assortment of food for all to enjoy.

See Hunter Pace photos by Rick Stillings Photography, E.H.Sutton Photos

more photos from R. Haschart and Stephanie Guerlain

From event coordinator Rosie Campbell-Update on the overal Fun Fall Hunter pace Results: Year End winners

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(above)Rosie Campbell, Bull Run MFH presented the prize for the series which concluded with FHC November 6

Five hunts are included in this Hunter Pace Series-Rappahannock, Deep Run, Bull Run, Casanova, Warrenton, Old Dominion, Farmington

Hunt Division:Casanova-Tom Rogers and partner.
Pleasure: Bull Run-Fiona Tustian and Nick Gudka.
Junior:Bull Run-Joanne Kline and Rory Gudka
they all did at least 5 of the paces..!


March 11, 2017 at The Boar's Head
Hosted this year by FHC-

Fabulous food, music and fun-Benefit Auction-

Online Auction starts now, bidding begins!!, see all the fantastic items available.
 Contact Evie Cowles for more info
Plan now- check the calendar for updates




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