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Joint Meet With Pony Clubbers


By Prairie Night Sky

Pony Club has a long standing tradition with fox hunting. In 1954, the United States Pony Clubs founders were enthusiastic fox hunters who recognized the need to organize and help the young people learn proper care of horses and effective riding for the diversity of the hunt fields. Today Pony Club produces some exceptionally rounded riders with strong horsemanship skills.

Many of the first Pony Clubs were started and affiliated with organized fox hunts. Now the traditions continue as hunt clubs across the country extend invitations to various Pony Clubs to hunt with them. It's on these hunts where Pony Club members have the opportunity to use the culmination of their skills in the world outside of riding rings.

At the invitation of Longreen Foxhounds, West TN Pony Club (WTPC) and Cedar Knob Pony Club (CKPC) of Middle TN came for a joint meet with the Longreen Foxhounds and Cedar Knob Hunt Club on January 19, 2013. The weekend started with a hunt dinner at the beautiful, historic home of Dr. and Mrs. Sherrill Stewart of Hernando, MS, followed by two days of foxhunting.

Saturday's hunt fixture was at Jake and Harriet McFadden's Birdlands in Como, MS. It was a beautiful, enjoyable weather day. The youthful riders watched the hounds work through several herds of deer, and moved two large ten-point bucks out of some dense brambles before they found their coyote. The chase was on for twenty minutes before Longreen Huntsman Susan Walker stopped the pack near a road for safety reasons. Then as the hounds worked on, they struck again, and there were several more views, especially when the coyote started circling in home territory. It was exciting and thrilling to see, especially for twelve-year-old James Wagnon of Cedar Knob Pony Club, who was on his first fox hunt.

On Sunday in Clarksdale, MS, we had more fine weather and the Longreen hounds moved off at noon at the Eastover Plantation of Will and Dawn Young. The land is flat, open, and road whips enjoy the territory because they can easily get in on the hunt action. At one point, Cedar Knob Huntmaster Albert Menefee, who hopped in his truck because his horse came up lame, even turned a coyote. It quickly became another day of incredible hunting, listening to the bugle-voiced Penn-Marydel hounds, witnessing multiple views of two beautiful coyotes and story book chases across the Delta farmlands. As Longreen Whipper-In Missy Stierle declared, "Amazing hunt at the Young Farm; the Longreen hounds were incredible again!"

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