Trainer A rides with an event trainer (NM) who's based south of Seattle, about two hours north of our barn. NM is part of the Woodbrook Hunt Club, who hosts drag hunts on Joint Base Lewis McChord and hosts a yearly Hunter Pace and Trials. A has gone up on a couple of hunts, but hasn't done the pace till this year. She decided to go at the last minute, and I tagged along as her groom. Both her and I were a little sad we didn't bring Cinder as A could have totally shown her in it this year, but we're for sure planning on bringing her next year.
|Started the day off with saying hi to baby Odie
A had entered the hunter pace with two of NM's junior students who needed an adult chaperone. They were entered in the first flight division, and won. I didn't get to see any of it, but A said they hauled ass and had a blast, but next year she'll take me out in the hilltopper division and we can calmly walk/trot the whole thing. I told her I appreciated that, as I'd rather not die galloping across a military base.
|The hunter trial field was huge, this is just a section of it
For the hunter trials, they had a big (dead) grass field with mainly natural style jumps. There were a couple rustic wooden rail fences, but a lot brush, straw bales, and log piles. They also had a bank that was used in some classes. They had a couple 2'6-3' hunter derby classes, hunter hack classes, a family class, a pairs over fences class, and a memorial field hunter classic. We watched some of the derbies and the hunter hack and it looked so fun.
|The course map was a little confusing, and I totally will pay for a ticketed schooling round next year
A was entered in the memorial field hunter classic, course map above. Unfortunately she got a little screwed during her round, as a loose dog ran into the field and she turned left of a jump instead of right to avoid him and had to circle. I know the judge had to count the circle as a refusal, but it shouldn't have counted as she was trying to not run over a dog. She then got a little lost trying to find her way through the trees to move the branch (everyone else did a schooling round so they knew where it was). There were 8 in the class but they only placed to 7th and she ended up not ribboning.
Everyone dressed up for the hunter trial classes, some in full hunting gear. It was such a fun atmosphere and we had a great day. Can't wait to go back next year. And who knows, maybe I'll let A talk me into joining a hunt one day.