Oak Grove Hunt Opening Meet
By Tommy Brannon, MFH; photos by Susan Wilson
Oak Grove Hunt Club began its 69th season of foxhunting with the annual Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds on November 7, 2015. The ceremony was held at Lodge Farm, home of Dr. Shannon and Amanda McGee, in the Hudsonville area north of Holly Springs, Mississippi. A large crowd of nearly 90 guests, mounted and unmounted, came to enjoy the hunt. The weather was overcast and chilly – about the right temperature for those mounted, but with a sharp breeze out of the north, making for tricky scenting conditions.
The Rev. John Bliffen of East Win Christian Church of Memphis, TN blessed the hounds, horses, riders, quarry, landowners, and all those involved in the hunt. Foxy Walker provided her famous, secret recipe stirrup cup, served at the Blessing. Keeping with tradition, riders were presented with St. Hubert medals. There were 4 “Tally Ho” hay wagons for spectators to watch the action.
“The hounds put on a beautiful show for all of our guests!” said Huntsman Amanda McGee, MFH. Soon after they were cast, hounds struck a line on a coyote, viewed by Whipper-In Bill Lackey, and ran the line through five deer that were bedded down. “Hounds stayed true to the line,” said Whipper-In Tom Brannon, MFH, but the coyote had already found a clever, evasive way to mix similar scents and Amanda called up the hounds.
After the hunt, riders and spectators retired to Barry and Martha Johnson’s Red Barn for a scrumptious “breakfast” of tummy warming Red Beans and rice by Southern Eatery, on the Square in Holly Springs. Guests enjoyed acoustic musical entertainment by Ronnie Caldwell and Jojo Jeffries.
Oak Grove Hunt Club goes foxhunting every Saturday from October to mid March. Some hunts take place in Mississippi and some in Tennessee. Mounted guests including children are welcome. Contact Peggy Hart MFH 901-299-5032 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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