Arrington : Opening hunt Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club, lifetime honor to Wintergreen Pony Club

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    Photography by Tommy Stafford
    Nelson County Life Magazine ©2007
    Opening Hunt @ Oak Ridge Estate
    Arrington, Virginia

    Main house

    Nothing says Fall in Virginia as much as the opening fox hunt! Actually it’s not a hunt at all, it’s more of a chase and a chance for members of the Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club to ride across the open fields with the howl of the hounds ahead. The ORFHC was originally established in 1887 in Lynchburg. It was moved to the Oak Ridge Estate in 1910. In 1993, Dr. Rita Mae Brown, Master of Fox Hounds, re-instituted the Fox Hunt at Oak Ridge.

    At Sunday’s opening hunt Rita Mae made a most kind and generous announcement on the 120th anniversary of the hunt. She told the crowd gathered in front of the main house that any member of the Wintergreen Pony Club based at Rodes Farm would be able to ride with ORFHC at no charge, waiving normal annual dues, for the next 120 years! Rita Mae did this in honor of, Elschen and Iliana Strickler, who were tragically killed in a car wreck on August 30th. The young sisters were long time members of the Wintergreen Pony Club. Their memory was honored at Sunday’s hunt before it started.

    RMB - speaking
    Above, Rita Mae Brown, makes the announcement before the Sunday hunt kicked off.

    Blessing of the hounds
    Before the hunt starts, it’s tradition to bless the hounds for a safe and fun hunt.

    Hayley & Lindsey
    You’ve seen her work behind the camera, but NCL’s Hayley Osborne, is quite the equestrian as is her sister Lindsey to the left. You’ll see some of her photos the December issue.

    Lynn-Tray
    For any hunt to go off successfully, it takes organization. Enter Lynn Stevenson with the club. She was keeping everything running smoothly Sunday. Want a Fuji?

    Gibb
    While Lynn was coordinating, her husband Gibb, above, was getting ready to head out.

    AFH
    Here, Anne Fortune Henderson, long time member of ORFHC takes a minute to chat with some of Sunday’s riders.

    field
    Then it was off to the ride across the wide open estate, a perfect day!

    Ice-Fox
    After a couple of hours out on the ride, eveyone was treated to a wonderful brunch held in the Carriage House. This beautiful ice sculpture greeted folks when they came in.

    If you’d like to learn more about The Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club you can visit their official site by clicking here.

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