North American Junior Field Hunter Championships Emily Digney, FHC Junior places in the top Ten (13 and Older), November 2010
Fall 2010 By Emily Digney, photos courtesy of the Digneys
The finals were held Nov 14th at Mr and Mrs. Malone's Doe Run Valley Farm , Cheshire Hunt, Coatesville, PA "The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship was a great opportunity to foxhunt with several other hunts in Virginia, meet other young people that like foxhunting, and hunt over different territory.
I hunted at Loudon West and Keswick, and those two hunts were completely different than each other, and different than Farmington. Loudon West was slower, and had only a few jumps, and the territory was mostly cornfields, and open areas. At Keswick, it was an incredibly fast hunt with tons of jumps. It had more of a mix, with some open areas, and some wooded areas. It was fun to meet people at the first meet, then see them again at the final championships meet. The finals were held in a mock hunt format, where each division (first flight and hilltoppers) followed a field master over a preset course including water crossings, jumps (coops, post and rails, brushes, etc), and checks.
After the mock hunt, both divisions did a flat class, where everyone from that division participated. In the flat class, the judges asked you to walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back. The top ten from that were picked to do the final test, which for the hilltoppers consisted of lowering a rail and leading the horse over a pole, getting a gate, dismounting and re mounting, and a canter to halt transition. The first flight’s test included jumping towards and away from the field, tight rollback turns, and a hand gallop to halt transition. Another thing that was really cool was just visiting a different type of horse country. In Unionville/Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where the Championships were held, there was a consecutive 35,000 acres that were protected for minimal development. It was so open, and there were so many horses! All in all, the JNAFHC’s were a blast!
Here are some professional photographer links:Daria Killinger: www.equiscapephotography.com
Beth Harpham: Equidigital.com