Hounds receive annual blessing for 16th year
Michael Laughlin's Mill Race Farm served as the fixture for the Edisto River Hounds 16th annual Blessing of the Hounds, Opening Meet and Stirrup Cup on Saturday afternoon.Father Garrett Clanton of All Saints Anglican Church officiated the Blessing of the Hounds."It's a good day for a fox hunt, and we've welcomed friends and their families," said D.J. Newell, Edisto River Hounds, joint Master of Hounds. "Among the things that we're renowned for are safety and education. We enjoy for people of all ages, who are involved in all riding disciplines, to come out and go ride with us. We place an emphasis on teaching people to hunt in a safe environment."The Edisto River Hounds Opening Meet hunt pack featured eight and a half couple (17 hounds)."It's just another great year, it's always fun to look forward to, and this is the day that kicks off all the fun stuff," said Walter Cheatham, Edisto River Hounds joint Master of Fox Hounds.Edisto River Hounds member Marion Blocker hadn't ridden the past two opening meets but participated in the hunt Saturday with her horse Lacy Lady."I started getting her ready for opening meet on Monday. I rode her for the first time Thursday and again today," said an emotional Blocker. "I've been with the hunt the last five or six years. This year I'm hunting because I got her ready. I just love to hunt. It makes me cry when I come to this service. God is in his glory."