The Fox Hunt
Tally Ho! Tally Ho! is what you yell when you spot the fox, and the real chase begins. I joined Bob Hoyer and his wife Sandy on a lovely afternoon at Ingleside Winery for my first foxhunt. We followed the hunt by truck, it’s called hill-topping. They have been riding and hunting since they were very young, both are Masters of the Hunt. Until 1981 no one had been fox hunting in this area since George Washington’s day. While Bob and Sandy don’t ride anymore, they do care for the hounds.
Fox hunting is a very traditional sport, everyone has a job, especially the hounds. The hounds (don’t call them dogs) are trained in pairs and hunt as a pack. They follow voice commands and the sound of the horn. Each hound has a unique personality and Huntsman Ann Bueche knows every hound’s name. There were nine and a half couples (19 hounds) that day. The Foxhunt is about the hounds and the fox, and the fox is smart. A breezy day is bad for the hunt, it causes the scent to drift up rather than staying on the ground. They don’t kill the fox and foxes smell like English boxwood. Phew!
Ever heard of earning your colors? Each club selects its own colors, Commonwealth is blue with grey piping, it is worn on the collar of the coat. You earn your colors by outstanding service to the hunt and the Huntsman, and their staff and anyone who has earned the privilege can choose to wear a scarlet coat.
Watching the riders and the hounds in a lovely setting really made me think I should be riding again.