The Festival of Foxhunting was a terrific success with almost 100 members and guests in attendance.
The morning began cool and bright then warmed up for all to enjoy the beginnings of autumn and a lively hound walk with Huntsman Martyn Blackmore and Sue Blackmore sharing with many of us who joined for their morning constitutional! Entertaining and educating us with facts about the history of foxhounds, training and introducing us to many of the super friendly hounds all wagging their sterns eagerly to engage with their supporters! Members were invited to join them for a hound walk (with or without their horse) on most days at 8 am. They just need 24 hour notice that you are coming.
Back at the kennels, Mark Wenger, our bartender extraordinaire, did not disappoint with well-appointed Stirrup Cup beverages and Claudia Sands lavished us with delicious snacks and Breakfast– all were invited to partake and did! (The Fox got a little carried away). Mark - you may have missed one....
Not only was this a fun and festive day, but an educational one as well! Merri Musso of Cedarview Farms and Allison Harcourt shared tips and help on getting both your horse and the rider ready for the season. She’s published a recent article outlining much of what was covered, you can read the full article on the PAH website.
Other speakers included: Horse Turnout, Guidelines and Grooming by Courtney Cohen and Angie Pfeiffer; Honorary Secretary Cynthia Long-Porter and Christine Long-Sweet, Chair of the Membership Committee, on Proper Attire in the Field and Masters Ed Mitchell and Travis Gibson on General Etiquette in the Hunt Field. Master Ed was especially encouraging to new folks that may be intimidated by all the traditions and sought to put minds at ease that this was meant to be fun, safe and inclusive!
Several vendors participated this year. Special thanks to Dreamshine, Greyhorse Tack, Fox Chasers and Ascent Equine Therapies for bringing their best deals to the Festival and helping get us all fitted and ready for the season! And a shout out to new PAH primary vendor Company Casuals who debuted their PAH logo apparel –all of which can be found on our website.
The highlight of the afternoon was our guest Huntsmen and Hounds! Martyn Blackmore shared insights and history, answered questions with humor and wisdom! Special guests and fellow breeders highlighted other hound breeds. We all enjoyed meeting Kami Bitting of De La Brooke Foxhounds with her Penn-Marydel Foxhounds; Charlotte Buttrick of Farminton Beagles and Jeff Eickler with his wonderful Bassett Hounds.
Many thanks to the Festival of Foxhunting Team--Sue and Martyn Blackmore, Courtenay Cohen, Mary Finney, Theresa Gregory, Allison Harcourt, Merri Musso, Angie Pfeiffer, Claudia Sands, Cynthia Long-Porter, Christine Sweet, Mark Wenger--and for Master Travis Gibson who served as coordinator.
Everyone received a Hunt Season booklet which was put together by Merri Musso and Marcy Molinaro and beautifully designed by Amy Zydel of eXpoBranders. This booklet we hope will serve as a reference for you all year so you can easily access updated contact information for leadership and as well as information about attire, etiquette in the field, membership and more.
A special shout out to the many advertisers! Be sure to thank them and patronize their businesses when you can. Additionally, members received their printed membership directory. If you were not able to join us, Honorary Secretary Cynthia Long-Porter will be mailing out these items to members and landowners soon.