The children had a fabulous time at their special day with the Brackenfield Hunt Club. The weather was superb (if not a bit too hot), the horses well behaved, and the hounds worked really well. Waituna, a sheep and beef farm just out of Waikari, North Canterbury, owned by Tim Cameron, was where most of the riding was. The meet started at Willie Davidson and Georgi Waddy’s lovely property, where the field enjoyed a stirrup cup before setting off. This area is still suffering from a severe drought, and while the children normally get to ride through rivers, it was hard and fast going today.
About fifty riders turned up to follow huntsman Charles Miller-Brown who had nine and a half couples of hounds out. Whips Kareen Mosby and Brent Jury helped out with the hounds while the Field Master of the day was young Lucy Grigg. The Master of the Hunt, Angelique Hyde told everyone at the beginning, “Children have the right of way today, it is their day.” Lucy had been appointed Field Master in recognition of her extensive hunting experience: she started hunting at the age of six. Her sister Molly was also hunting today.
Some of the members of the Birchwood Hunt came up from Southland to join the field.
There were three generations of one family out following the hounds: Kate Latz was there with her daughter Penny Mehrtens and Penny’s daughter Olivia was on the lead rein. She hunted the whole day and looked to be enjoying every moment!
There were also grandchildren of the legendary Ian Ferguson riding. Ian was the Master and the Huntsman of Brackenfield for many years.
It wasn’t a fast hunt; the ground was too hard for too much galloping. Some chose to jump the prepared fences, while others went through the gates.
It really was a beautiful outing for horses, hounds and riders.