Junior North American Field Hunter Championship
The 17th annual Junior North American Field Hunter Championship (JNAFHC) was held at Old Whitewood Farm in the Plains, VA on Saturday November 9, 2019. There were 103 Junior competitors, who had qualified at Hunt Meets across the country, competing in this Championship event.
The competition is designed for Junior riders, 18 years old and younger, on fox-hunting ponies or appropriate hunt horses. The fox hunting mount and their proper turnout is important, but their suitability for the young rider is of utmost importance. The hope is that the children, the future of foxhunting, will come out for a great day of hunting, meet new friends, see new country, and realize how important the countryside is, and do their best to protect it for their future generations.
On Friday November 8, before the competition, Juniors and their families had the opportunity to hunt with Loudoun Hunt of Leesburg, Virginia, followed by a reception at the MFHA Headquarters in Middleburg, Virginia.
Then on Sunday, November 10, all competitors and their parents were welcome to hunt with the Snickersville Hounds of Middleburg, Virginia at Creekside Farm. The second, limited option was hunting with the Middleburg Orange County Beagles. The Middleburg Orange County Beagles are the only beagle pack in the world that is followed on horseback and chases foxes! The hunt is located near historic Middleburg, Virginia, in the heart of horse country, with terrain comprised of rolling meadows, woods and streams, and some stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
U.S. Pony Club was well represented with 43 current members entered, and 12 placing in the finals in all divisions. Mid-south Pony Clubbers participating were: in First Flight, members of Hillsboro Hounds: Cate Puckett riding Snickerdoodle; Ava Wood riding Party Girl; Amara Baker riding Battalion (placed 6th); Aubrey Jae Myrick riding Merrylegs. Hilltoppers from Hillsboro: Audri Hoos riding Boo Ribbon; Samantha Warrington riding Tinkerbelle; Lauren Rich riding Morgantown; and Brooks Marie Sneed riding Brown Sugar Cube.
Many hunts across the nation hosted qualifying meets, including Hillsboro Hounds of Nashville, Tenn.
The top placing Pony Club Member Awards, sponsored by Shapley’s went to:
- First Flight 13 – 18: Colby Poe, C-1 member of Old Dominion Hounds Pony Club
- First Flight 12 and under: Emma Watson, D-2 member of Ochlockonee River Pony Club
- Hilltopper 11 and over: Charleigh Read, D-3 member of Casanova-Warrenton Pony Club
- Hilltopper 10 and under: Brynn Miller, D-1EV/D-2DR/D-2HM member of Good Choice Farm Pony Club Riding Center
- Best Turned Out Award: Lydia Eifler, C-1 member of Ariatti Equestrian Pony Club Riding Center and member Long Run Woodford Hounds
Also read more about the JNAFHC at E-Covertside: www.ecovertside.net. See photos of the competitors at Richard Clay Photography: www.richardclayphotography.com
About the JNAFHC: The JNAFHC was founded in 2003 by Mrs. Douglas Wise Stuart, Mrs. Iona Pillion, with Ms. Marion Chungo and Michelle Arnold, with three goals in mind. The first: to teach children the importance of land conservation, particularly for the sport of foxhunting. Second, to meet other foxhunters, enjoy hunting together, and get to know one another, especially at tailgate breakfasts. Third: to add a bit of competitive flavor to make the hunt more interesting.
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