July 22, 2018
Tennessee Valley Hunt
On a cold, crisp Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Tennessee Valley Hounds hosted the publisher of the Mid-South Horse Review at Blackberry Ridge Farm near Greenville, TN for a great day of sport. Blackberry Ridge Farm, owned by Tracie and Debbie Dobbs, is an elegant state of the art, 300 acre facility that specializes in breeding and training Irish Draught Horses.
A small group of riders lead by the Field Master Judith Craw were able to observe the hound work of 18 ½ couple of Penn Mary-Del foxhounds. Huntsman Andy Bozdon cast just past the creek that runs behind the Blackberry Ridge Stables. The water was quite deep and the opposite bank was steep and muddy, causing one rider on a 13h pony to slip backwards for a thorough drenching. Not deterred, however, she remounted and continued the hunt, stopping only for a moment to drain the water out of her boots.
Scenting conditions were not at their best at this Carters Valley fixture, and it took several casts and recasts to find quarry. The residences and farm buildings hug the road that runs down the middle of the valley. Between them and the hardwood covered ridges the valley floor is interspersed with harvested corn fields, woods and fallow fields - great habitat for wildlife.
About two hours into the hunt a coyote was viewed and Andy cheered on the hounds. The field galloped up and down the hills of the ridge, through woods and over coops, in and out of cattle pastures. The hounds kept up the pressure and the coyote took them over the next ridge. After a check Andy decided to call in the pack. As it turned out, the hunt ended near the Dobbs’ house, where the trailers were parked. The riders retired to the kitchen-equipped office of the main barn for hearty soup and welcome refreshment.
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