To ensure that Virginia’s foxhunting tradition lives on, the area’s Bull Run Hunt Club held a Junior meet on Nov. 30 at historic Sumerduck Farm on Algonquin Trail in Culpeper County.
About 75 horses and riders gathered at Sumerduck, at plantation home built in 1820 by Culpeper lawyer Jeremiah Morton, to invite juniors (riders under 18) to fox hunt without paying a cap fee. The day’s weather was brisk and overcast—perfect for foxhunting.
As the hounds moved off, there was much excitement in the air. The whips and road whips took their places on the road. The children rode ponies and horses and kept up with the fields.
Each field of riders (first, second, and third) had a junior lead the field with an adult. They crossed the Rapidan River, went up hills and down dales, crossed bridges, galloped across fields, and rode with the hounds as they chased several coyotes.
The children had a blast. Huntsman Tim Michel’s daughter, Sammy, got to ride with her father for a bit, and invited some of her young friends to do so, too. The ponies all behaved in spite of the hounds running around their feet.
After about three hours of riders following the hounds, our gracious host, Mike Beauduin of Sumerduck, provided a food truck for the hunt breakfast. The juniors loved it, as they could order whatever they wanted.
A good time was had by all, and we were promised an invitation back to do it all again some day.