May 24, 2019
Oak Grove Hunt Club Opening Meet
Photos by Pam Wade
Oak Grove Hunt Club held its 70th Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds on November 10, 2018 at Dr. Shannon and Amanda McGee’s Lodge Farm in Hudsonville, Mississippi. The weather was quite chilly with a brisk breeze, with temperatures only reaching into the low 40s, but with sunny skies. Members and guests were warmed by Foxy Walker’s “secret recipe” Stirrup Cup at the Blessing.
The Blessing of the Hounds was performed by Rev. Paul Criss of the New Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Tennessee.
After the hunt, riders and spectators gathered for food and libations on the porch and lawn of the McGee’s “Manor House,” entertained by the music of Bryan Hayes and Brenton Woodall.
Oak Grove Hunt Club was founded 1946 and hunts in north Mississippi and West Tennessee, October through March. Guests are welcome with permission. Contact Amanda McGee, MFH at: 901-606-2119.
Following are excerpts from the Blessing.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all the fullness thereof: the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.
…Hear our humble prayer, O God, for all animals especially those in whose companionship we find joy and help. As horse and hound are friends of man, may they be treated with kindness and love.
…Protect, O Lord, those who ride with the strong arm of Thy Love and give them grateful hearts for the privilege of enjoying the bounties of the world.
Bless, O Lord, rider and horse, and the hunters that run, and the joy of their running.
Bless and shield these riders from danger to life and limb. May Thy children who ride and Thy creatures who carry them come to the close of the day unhurt.
Bless those over whose lands we hunt and grant that no deed of ours may cause their owners hurt or trouble.
Bless all the creatures who partake in this chase, that they may run straight and true, and that they may find their true destiny in Thee.
Bless these hounds as they chase and their joyful part in Thy service.
God, who sanctifieth all things by Thy Word, pour down Thy blessings upon these Thy servants, their horses and their hounds; to all who shall take part in this hunt, grant protection of body and soul; grant that the spirit of true sportsmanship may prevail in all we do this day.
Go in Peace. Return in safety. The Blessing of God Almighty be upon you now and remain with you always. Amen.”
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