The recent dry conditions made it a bit more challenging for carrying a scent, but that didn’t take away from the Whiskey Road Fox Hounds Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds Sunday morning.
Chime Bell Chase served as the fixture for the hunt’s opening meet.
The hunt welcomed a new joint Master of Fox Hounds, who, in their role, have been charged with the overall responsibility for all aspects of the hunt. Barbara Nelson joins Lynn and Dave Smith as a new joint Master of Fox Hounds for the Whiskey Road Fox Hounds.
The experience provides Nelson with the opportunity to enjoy the countryside and good sport while in the company of outstanding friends, she said.
“I love wildlife and being outdoors,” said Nelson. “It’s great when you’re out here with a good, social pack of hounds like we have, really good huntsmen and lots of people who love to ride. It’s a good way to get fresh air.”
Nelson has a show jumping background, and the horseman is able to put her experience to good use as she usually takes first flight, but when the hunt is at the Chime Bell Chase fixture, first flight field master Alan Young does the honors. On Sunday, Nelson served as a whipper-in, where she assisted the huntsman during the hunt.
The hunt normally takes 10 1/2 couple (21 hounds), and the pack was in good voice on Sunday.
The Rev. Charlotte Waldrop, retired vicar of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beech Island, officiated the Blessing.
Twist and Scoot, an Appendix Quarter Horse, attended his first opening meet. Scooter, as he’s known around the barn, was ridden Sunday by Victoria Jacks. The horseman is attending the University of South Carolina, where she is studying chemical engineering.
“I’m really excited about being here because I don’t get to ride that often,” said Jacks. “I love fox hunting. It’s my favorite thing to do. I’ve already seen so many people that I’ve grown up with, and that have seen me grow up.”
The horseman described Scoot as an excitable character, who really lives up to his name. Jacks went first flight on Sunday.
“He loves to jump,” said Jacks.