The Farmington Hunt kennels and clubhouse are located in northwestern Albemarle County near Free Union. Our territory encompasses the rolling hills and fields at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where we have followed hounds since 1929, and reaches into historic southern Albemarle along the Hardware and James rivers. Our country’s diverse terrain presents constant opportunity for great sport with a wide variety of riding experiences.
FHC President's Report,Summer 2018
Normally at this time of year, we are experiencing high temperatures, drought like conditions and rock-hard footing. While summer has just officially begun, the months of May and June have been anything, but normal. With nearly daily rainfall in record amounts, many outdoor activities in the area were negatively impacted or cancelled all together. Fortunately, Mother Nature was kind to us, and the FHC scheduled events were largely unaffected.
The Farmington Puppy Show, the prestigious Virginia Hound Show and the Central Va. Junior Handler Show were all successful events, with encouraging levels of junior participation. More details to can be found in Our Hounds section of the website.
As we have come to expect, the Horse Activity Committee is firing on all cylinders once again this year. Despite an ominous weather forecast, the FHC Hunter Show at Brookhill Farm was a big success. Organizer, Stephen Bickers’s hard work and enthusiasm creates an enjoyable atmosphere for the riders, horses, volunteers, sponsors and spectators, insuring a first-class event. Special thanks to Lynne and Mark Gebhard for hosting us at their lovely farm.
The Farmington Hunter Pace also faced weather challenges in the form of high river levels. Not surprisingly, Nancy Howell, Liz King and their capable group adapted easily, moving the venue and laying out a great seven-mile course that was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Huntsman, Matthew Cook and new Kennelman, Josh Taylor for a huge effort clearing the trails after all of the storms. Josh just started with FHC in late May and is doing a great job.
With ten weeks to go before hunting season begins, the rest of the summer is chock full of enjoyable FHC events. There is something for everyone, including…7/13- Fun Show/Gymkhana, 7/21-Hunter Pace/Poker Run, 8/5- Jumper Derby, 8/12-Horse Despooking Day at Toad Hollow, 8/18-18/19 - Foxhunting Clinic and 8/26 – Joint Trail Ride at Keswick. Also the Walk and Talk Trail Rides go out every Tuesday, plus a number of bye days. These rides are a perfect way to get horses and riders fit and acclimated to group settings. It is also a good opportunity to introduce potential members to the Farmington family and the beautiful hunt country. Check the Upcoming Events Calendar for full details, dates and locations for all hunt activities.
Effective communications are a very important part of operating a successful hunt club. As members, we receive important messages almost on a daily basis, announcing social events, time changes, fixture updates, event cancellations, picture sharing etc. etc. They come via text messages, emails, Facebook posts and other forms of social media. These are great tools for instant information, and we all rely on them heavily. However, to really know and learn about what is going on with the hunt club, the most effective resource we have is the FHC website, www.farmingtonhunt.org. Without a doubt, the Farmington site is recognized as the best hunt club website in North America, by far. The vast amount of valuable information found there, both current and historical is amazing. I strongly recommend that each of you take some time and go through the website and see just how comprehensive, interactive and easy it is to use. For example, click on the “Hunting” header and then choose “Hound Roster” in the drop down menu. Chris Middleton is in the process of updating and improving the roster, with three pictures and breeding information of each and every hound. Now that is a labor of love and a great resource.
Having a top-notch website doesn’t happen by accident. We are fortunate to have three very talented members who developed the site, spend countless hours improving it and keeping it current. Many thanks to Beth Sutton, Stephanie Guerlain, Cheryl Microutsicos and the others who help them, for their dedication, hard work and attention to detail.Please take advantage of all of the activities and opportunities that Farmington has to offer. It should be a great summer.Hunting Season will be here before you know it! Check events calendar for up to date scheduling, and see news for all event reports, results and photos.
Mark Thompson, President