Wow, yesterday was one amazing day! I was fortunate enough to procure two invitations from different foxhunts in Florida. Both were so very different, and equally enjoyable. I feel blessed to have taken the chance trying something new, and expanding my extended family!
I'll start with my morning outing with the Misty Morning Hounds:
I woke up at 4:00 after three hours sleep, (went out to an amazing seafood restaurant with hubby, family and a few colleagues.)got dressed in the dark, and left the hotel dressed in my cubbing attire (as suggested by both masters). I hit the road before 5:00 am, and arrived at the Perry Plantation, home of Alexis and Walter Macaulay (Joint Masters of the MMH) as the sun was rising. As I slowly followed Alexis up the driveway I was awestruck at how beautiful her farm is. Gorgeous open fields with cross country jumps scattered across, and the main home reminded me a bit of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
Having arrived so early, Alexis invited me to follow her around as she prepped everything for the days' hunt. I spent time in the kennels, helped tack up, and met the staff... Still not sure who my COTH friend is... Yeagermiester, you forgot to introduce yourself as my COTH contact :D ... I was a bit nervous doing a drag hunt for the first time, but felt confident that I was in good hands. I met such a wonderful group of ladies. It was 34 degrees, (yes, here in Florida)so, a bit of Port was necessary to warm things up. Alexis, it was such a pleasure to meet and talk to your mother. I could have listened to her stories all day! Everyone was so welcoming. As I'm horrible with names (unless it's attached to four legs and a tail) I'd like to thank the group as a whole for a wonderful outing. I would have loved to spend the day getting to know everyone better. Marsha-Marsha-Marsha, Adrian, Barbara, Susan, Katie... I can't wait to come back and ride with everyone again.
On to the drag: Alexis filled me in on the logistics of drag hunting and I got to watch our "fox" take off and lay scent. Duke, my first flight mount was the epitome of a gentleman, and graciously carried me in the second field as I wanted to take a few minutes to get to know him before I moved up. Yes, he was disappointed as first flight would gallop past, but did his job with aplomb. We were both rewarded to a couple of good gallops, when I finally had the confidence to move up to first flight. I believe the hounds had three "kills" yesterday, and are all fine representatives of the American Foxhound breed. AVH hounds would be soooo jealous if they saw the digs their southern brothers got to enjoy!
Wow, what a great way to start a beautiful day! Thank you again ladies for your company and great sportsmanship. Alexis, if I had room in my barn, I'd scoop Duke up and put him in my suitcase!
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