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  • Wednesday, February 14, 2024 1:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks to Master Travis Gibson for organizing a successful Junior day; and Master Merri Musso and her event team* for putting together a wonderful Stirrup Cup, Tailgate and Breakfast; and Debbie and Doug Hackman for hosting at River Ridge.  Princess Anne Hunt welcomed 19 juniors that day along with their chaperones. We had a dedicated junior flight led by Master Travis Gibson and juniors were also invited to join 1st, 2nd and 3rd flights. One junior even had the experience of riding with honorary whipper in Jerel Johnson to see what that job was all about. This will become an annual event so please look for future Junior Hunt invitations. 

    *Thanks to the Junior day Event Team: Merri Musso, Natasha Gealey, Janice Perkins, Kim Burnett, Jan Milner, Vanessa Roselli, Hannah VanHuss. Theresa Ponziani, Jim Daniels, Robin Somers-Strom, Kelly Jordan,


  • Sunday, January 28, 2024 10:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Reader by Culpeo-Fox on DeviantArt

    Join the Masters at Dogham Farm on Thursday, February 22nd from 6 to 8pm for cocktail refreshment and a fireside chat about the foxhunting murder mystery novel you can read during the cold Winter nights ahead! Read a good book by a popular Virginia Author and Master of Foxhounds; and learn a little bit about foxhunting on and off the field, in a fun, casual setting.

    Selected read - “Outfoxed” by Rita Mae Brown

    Mature content. Juniors under the age of 18 should have parental consent.

    As Master of the prestigious Jefferson Hunt Club, Jane Arnold, known as Sister, is the most revered citizen in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain town where a rigid code of social conduct and deep-seated tradition carry more weight than money. Nearing seventy, Sister now must select a joint master to ensure a smooth transition of leadership after her death. It is an honor of the highest order---and one that any serious social climber would covet like the Holy Grail.

    Virginian to the bone, with a solid foxhunting history, Fontaine Buruss is an obvious candidate, but his penchant for philandering and squandering money has earned him a less than sparkling reputation. And not even Sister knows about his latest tawdry scandal. Then there is Crawford Howard, a Yankee in a small town where Rebel bloodlines are sacred. Still, Crawford has money---lots of it---and as Sister is well aware, maintaining a first-class hunt club is far from cheap.

    With the competition flaring up, Southern gentility flies out the window. Fontaine and Crawford will stop at nothing to discredit each other. Soon the entire town is pulled into a rivalry that is spiraling dangerously out of control. Even the animals have strong opinions, and only Sister is able to maintain objectivity. But when Opening Hunt Day ends in murder, she, too, is stunned.

    Who was bold and skilled enough to commit murder on the field? It could only be someone who knew both the territory and the complex nature of the hunt inside out. Sister knows of three people who qualify ---and only she, with the help of a few clever foxes and hounds, can lay the trap to catch the killer.

      Order the book here. 


  • Thursday, January 04, 2024 6:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    GIVE TO THE HUNT PRESERVATION FUND

    As we enjoy our 97th season of foxhunting the historic properties and farmlands of Charles City and beyond, the Princess Anne Hunt Board of Directors hopes that you will consider supporting Princess Anne Hunt's Hunt Preservation Fund. 

    In 2018, Master Ed Mitchell, with the support of the Board and generous members, raised $130,000 to establish this fund for capital needs and emergencies. Since then, the Hunt Preservation Fund has paid for the down payment on the Huntsman’s house, installation of a new septic field, new pick-up truck and horse trailer, kennel improvements for hound safety and comfort, the acquisition of a new horse; and tracking collars for the hounds.

    Thanks to membership dues and successful Hunt Balls over the last few years, our operating budget is in great shape, so the day-to-day needs of the Huntsman, hounds and horses are being met. The Hunt Preservation Fund must be replenished to be able to continue to meet necessary capital expenses that are outside of the operating budget. The PAH Board is seeking to raise $50,000 over the next two fiscal years--which run May 1-April 30-- for the Hunt Preservation Fund. This will position Princess Anne Hunt for financial strength as we approach our 100th anniversary.

    These funds will be used to complete the much-needed exercise yards for the hounds; roof repairs for the horse stable, additional kennel improvements, maintenance and eventual replacement of the truck and trailer; emergency needs, and more.

    All of the PAH Board of Directors have made pledges to this important campaign. We hope that you will join us and make a gift to the Hunt Preservation Fund. You can either send a check to:  Princess Anne Hunt at 12200 Tylers Mill Road, Charles City, VA 23030; or pay with a credit card by contacting Treasurer Tim Watson at tdwatson2@gmail.com. Contact masters@princessannehunt.com with any questions.

    All gifts are appreciated and will be recognized at the annual meeting. If you make a donation at these levels, you will receive a small PAH gift and your name will be included on a plaque at the kennels: Donor - $500; Contributor - $1000; Sustainer - $2500; Legacy $5000 and above.

    Thank you for your consideration of this important effort that supports our Huntsman, horses and hounds.

    All of our very best regards,

    Travis Gibson, MFH

    Edward Mitchell, MFH

    Merri Musso, MFH


  • Friday, November 17, 2023 4:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Princess Anne Hunt's 97th formal season began with Opening Meet on Saturday, November 11th at Sherwood Forest, home of President John Tyler. Veterans were honored by Colonel Claudia Sands, USAF (retired) and Chaplain Tim Porter who gave the Blessing of the Hounds before mounting his horse to enjoy the day's hunt. Riders wore poppy lapel pins in honor of veterans present, as well as past.

    The cold early morning and the forecast high temperature in the 60’s, promised for a good day of hunting. Special occasion meets don’t usually yield great sport; however, eventually a fox was viewed, and hollered away, across Mariwood drive, away from the river and towards Mapsico creek. All the hounds opened on the line and a chase ensued. Unfortunately, field members were not able to follow the fast disappearing pack and headed back to the Lyon’s Den tailgate.

    Our hosts William and Kay Tyler joined us for the day, along with Harrison Tyler, the grandson of President Tyler, for his 95th birthday.  About 45 riders hunted that day and 100 guests attended the Stirrup Cup and Tailgate.  Breakfast was catered by Defazio's Catering and an almond amaretto birthday cake was made by Robin Daniels. All were organized by the Opening Meet event team: Bonnie and Brad Smallwood; Terri Shiffer and David Howard; Elaine Honeycutt; Christine Sweet; Cynthia and Tim Porter and the Sherwood Forest team. Many thanks to them!

    Photographs of the day were taken by Julia Bowman and Joe Svetina of Commonwealth Artists who have some posted in the gallery at princessannehunt.com and have posted professional quality photos for purchase on their website HERE.


  • Monday, November 06, 2023 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    IT WAS a beautiful, 85 degree, day for 20 teams consisting of 65 riders, to compete in the 2023 PAH Fall Hunter Pace, a part of the VA Fall Hunter Pace Series, conducted with 7 other VA based MFHA hunts.
    A hunter pace is an exciting and competitive gathering that tests the skills and teamwork of riders and their horses over a cross country course.
    Participants are tasked with completing a predetermined course, at a controlled pace, aiming to achieve the optimum or fastest time, depending on the division. Those who take part in a hunter pace can expect an experience that mimics the pace and obstacles that one would encounter on a typical day of fox hunting.

    This year's course contained over 20 jumps and covered 7.5 miles through our wonderful hunt countryside in Charles City. There were 4 divisions: Optimum Time on the Flat, Optimum Time over Fences, Fastest Time on the Flat and Fastest Time over Fences.

    Winners were:
    Optimum Time on the Flat. Team Mayfair Farm
    Optimum Time over Fences. Team Off To A Flying Art
    Fastest Time on the Flat. Team Day Drinkers.
    Fastest Time over Fences. Team TruBoo

    Sincere thanks to Masters Ed Mitchell, Travis Gibson and Merri Musso for their coordination of this event!
    Thanks to Christine Sweet and Theresa Burton for overseeing the catering.
    Also to our vendors, Robin Daniels, Dreamshine Tack and Commonwealth Artists.
    Our on-course professional photographers were Joe Svetina and Julia Bowman. Their photos of the day can be found on www.commonwealthartists.net

    A shout out to huntsman, Martyn Blackmore, who spent hours constructing and grooming the fantastic course, with the assistance of hon. whippers-in, Jerel Johnson, Courtenay Cohen, Alex Cromer and Allison Harcourt as well as PAH member, Patrick McCarthy.
    Thanks to prof. whipper-in, Sue Blackmore, for hosting our Halfway Champagne Stop.
    Thanks also to Troy Arnold and Mark Wenger, our official timekeepers.

    We had many, many volunteers behind the scenes performing tasks, big and small, and we would like to recognize that this event could not have been done without you all!

    Alexandra C Cromer, Hunter Pace chair

  • Tuesday, September 12, 2023 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Courtenay Cohen, wearing her PAH colors proudly, represented Princess Anne Hunt (PAH) in the 2023

    “A” rated Warrenton Horse Show over this past Labor Day weekend. Courtenay finished 6 th in the Fox

    Hunter 31-45 category and 3 rd in the Team Pairs competition joining forces with Deep Run Hunt Club.

    Courtenay has been participating in various events in preparation for the upcoming prestigious Filed

    Hunter Championships of which she hopes to represent PAH proudly again.

    Pictured above is Courtenay on her 6-yearold Irish Sport Horse “Shanbally” (barn name) and competing

    under the show name “Ludo”. All horses entered must be fairly hunted – meaning a Field Master signs

    off on the horse completing a minimum of 7 hunts of at least 2 ½ hour duration.

    The Warrenton Horse Show Association, founded in 1899, is one of the oldest equestrian exhibitions of

    its kind in the United States. Sunday is the culmination of the 5-day event with “Hunt Night”, and many

    Virginia Hunt clubs having tailgate parties along the show ring rail. Excitement peaks with Hunt Staff,

    Corinthian Class and Hunt Teams being the last 3 competitions.

  • Monday, May 29, 2023 7:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    by Katherine Mitchell and Travis Gibson

    About 50 members and guests joined the Board of Directors on Sunday at Upper Shirley Plantation to toast the new PAH year; learn about how things went last year and participate in a PAH hound show with Martyn and Sue Blackmore.  We were greeted by host Suzy Dameron with Upper Shirley champagne and the news that her first grandchild had just  been born. About 70 percent of the event teams for 2023-2024 were filled at the meeting by volunteers. Katherine will be reaching out to you this summer to sign up if you weren't able to be there.

    We all marked the occasion of the traditional "changing of the guard". Mark Wenger and Cynthia Porter concluded their terms as Board Directors as did Elaine Honneycutt who finished her term as secretary. We thank them so very much for their  service on the Board and Christine Sweet for her service as Membership Chair.  One of the most significant appointments of the year was the appointment of Merri Musso as our new Master, joining Travis Gibson, MFH and Ed Mitchell, MFH.  This is the team of Masters who will work with PAH leadership to position Princess Anne Hunt for our next century of hunting. Merri was on the nominating committee this year with Katherine Mitchell and Jerel Johnson. She oversaw the vote of Jim Daniels to the Board as Director; Rachel Toquothty as Secretary; Robin Somers-Strom as Vice President and Membership Chair; and Katherine Mitchell for another term as President. 

    Other details from the business meeting and highlights from the year can be found HERE  in the minutes from the meeting which includes the president's report;  Hounds and Hunting; the Membership report; theTrail Ride Series; and the Treasurer's Report by Tim Watson. Tim shared the numbers for last year and the news that due to inflationary increases in expenses there will be a 6 percent increase in membership dues next year, beginning in August. This is the first increase since 2019.


    Following the business meeting, Master Travis Gibson introduced the PAH Hound show and our first MFHA Junior Judging Competition.  Participating were Steven Cardoza, John Savage, Evan Savage and Sophia Savage.  Professional Judge, Matthew Cook, the Huntsman with Farmington Hunt. Eight PAH hounds competed. Members were also given judging sheets and encouraged to see if they could match scores with the professional judge. Sophia Savage won the junior judging competition. She was invited to participate in the Junior handling class at the Virginia Hound Show on Sunday, May 28th.


    After the hound show, members and guests enjoyed refreshments made by the Board of Directors and a landowners bar, manned by Mark Wenger with help from Steve Musso. We all did a good job demolishing the almond amaretto cake made by Robin Daniels who also had PAH merchandise for sale. The weather was perfect until the first drop of rain came down as we were cleaning up and heading home.


  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023 1:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by Katherine Mitchell


    Many thanks to all volunteers, auction donors and bidders who made the 96th annual hunt ball such an enjoyable evening and successful fundraiser. Together, we entertained  a record 142 landowners, members and guests, and raised a record $42,000 for the hounds! How wonderful to be able to secure the funds needed to supplement our membership dues while having so much fun! The caterer was impressed by the amount of wine and spirits we drank. Thank you Ed Mitchell and Troy Arnold for making sure we had enough for the evening!


    Dee Dee Mausteller, MFH, was recognized by the Masters for her years of service and given a silver tray from the Board of Directors on behalf of the membership as a parting gift as she retires as Master this year. Dee Dee is moving out of the area to North Carolina, but will remain a member... and on speed dial.


    Natasha and Brian Gealey did an excellent job, with Merri Musso and Sue Blackmore's photos, putting together a slideshow of photos from our season of hunting. Thank you Joe Svetina and Julia Bowman for letting us use some of your photos as well. When you watch the slideshow, please note the donors of our 12 auction items and the Hunt Ball volunteers who are recognized in the beginning.  Thank you to Marcy Molinaro who served as Hunt Ball Chair through January; oversaw the live auction; and worked with Linda Wenger, our invite designer, who came up with the graphics for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme.

    One of the evening's highlights was the debut of a video that Master Ed Mitchell made with daughter Carolyn featuring scenes from the season:

    View "A Day in the Life of Hunting" Video HERE

    Our professional photographer, Ben White, the son of landowners’ Briscoe and Kenan White joined us once again this year to capture portraits of everyone in their formalwear and folks enjoying the Ball and dinner:

    Hunt Ball Image Gallery  

    You will notice the elegant Orchid centerpieces and Tiffany’s truffle party favors, inspired and made by Liz Elwell and Robin Somers-Strom with help from Robin Daniels. The live auction displays were designed by Christine Sweet with help from Judee and Gil Calkins. The band, En’novation, secured by Debbie and Doug Hackman was a blast and the dance floor was full until they finished at 11 pm.

    Our signature blue champagne cocktail, Tiffany mimosas, set an elegant tone as everyone walked into Burlington, many for the first time. Burlington is a beautiful event venue right in the middle of our hunt territory. We were so lucky to have Madison Land who works at Burlington every day helping us to set up and break down; working with the caterer; and making sure that things ran smoothly the night of the event.

    After the Ball, members opened their homes to folks to reduce the drive. We were lucky to have Rivers Rest close by as well. Many thanks to Granville for offering a discounted room rate AND transportation for guests to go safely to and from the Ball.

    It was an elegant end to our 96th Hunt Season, and we look forward to more fun with Princess Anne Hunt in the coming months. We’ll stay in touch through e-mail, our website and Facebook.

    Hunt Ball Portrait Image Gallery

  • Sunday, March 26, 2023 7:02 PM | Deleted user

    Written by Mary Finney


    March 11, 2023 dawned chilly and breezy, but the sun was shining and excitement was high as dozens of horses and riders, as well as spectators gathered at Sherwood Forest for the Closing Meet of Princess Anne Hunt’s 96th season. This date was also the 90th birthday of the late Mrs. Paynie Tyler, a life-long patroness of our Hunt, to whom we will be forever grateful for her generosity and enduring, passionate support. The Tyler family continues to be a vital and treasured part of Princess Anne Hunt and we are so appreciative of their hosting us for Closing Meet. A prayer of remembrance and thanksgiving was offered and a wreath placed in Paynie’s honor.

    The morning started with a wonderful Stirrup Cup at the Overseers’ Cottage, featuring delicious savory and sweet canapés, mimosas and port wine. Bonnie Smallwood, Brad Smallwood, Jaime Reid, Dennis and Liz Elwell, Kris Goekeritz, Nijole Bailey, and Brian Gealey passed refreshments to riders and guests, which were much enjoyed.

    Two awards for exemplary service to the Hunt were given that morning. The Whitehurst Award, which is given annually to the member who has shown dedication and service to the Hunt over a period of many years, was presented to Katherine Mitchell, our brilliant and hard working President.

    The newly christened Mausteller Award commemorates our own retiring MFH, Dee Dee Mausteller, who was an invaluable leader for our hunt for over two decades. This award will be given annually to a staff member who has shown consistent dedication and excellent service to the Huntsman, hounds, and the sport. This year it was presented to Mrs. Allison Harcourt, who has been a member of PAH since the 1970’s and is an irreplaceable asset with her vast experience and knowledge of all things hunting and hounds.

    Two riding members were awarded their colors that morning: Mrs. Kris Goeckeritz and Mr. Steve Musso. Well done, and well deserved! Last, but not least, three junior members were presented the MFHA’s Fairly Hunted Award, which is recognizes achievement of youth 16 years old and under, in participating in mounted hunting with hounds at least 5 times during the season. Congratulations to Aly Corbett, Keira Courtney, and John Savage!

    Hunting Report:

    For the hounds, scenting on this windy day was difficult, and for the staff, hearing the hounds and the huntsman’s horn, was a challenge. As has become customary, when leaving the meet from Sherwood Forest, respects were paid to Paynie Tyler in the family cemetery. Martyn worked the hounds towards Lyon’s Den, and after about 45 minutes, was drawing through the recently cutover timber at Lyon’s Den working the lower ground that was more sheltered from the wind. The hounds found just south of the cutover and were quickly in full cry. But within seconds, the music had been drowned out by the wind – all we could hear was the sound of the tree tops thrashing in the winds. After a false start towards the river, we realized that the quarry – a coyote - had crossed Tyler’s Creek and was headed east towards Fort Pocahontas with the hounds in pursuit. It would be a 3 mile gallop for the field to double back to the crossing and try catch up. By noon, Martyn and staff had checked at Fort P. to collect hounds up together. A couple of hounds were able to stay on the coyote’s trail and were eventually picked up seven miles east at Sandy Point!

    Second Flight and Mounted Hilltoppers made their way to the large and sumptuous Tailgate at the entrance to Lions Den where our hunt supporters greeted the field with smiles and refreshments. There were close to 50 spectators braving the wind and enjoying the pageantry. Kudos and many thanks to the organizers and volunteers for that: Sean and Therese O’Grady, Kris Goeckeritz, Vanessa Roselli, Mark Wenger, and so many others.

    Meanwhile, back at Fort P., by 12:30, hounds had been gathered, and Martyn hunted back towards home. The hounds found between Sturgeon Point Road and Tyler’s Creek in heavy cover. But again, the wind made it impossible to hear the hounds, and with the thick cover, the quarry soon slipped away. With the wind still blowing hard and conditions difficult, the Masters called it a day and hounds were taken back to the kennels and First flight hacked back to the trailers. A busy day with many miles covered and at least two coyotes viewed.

    After returning to the trailers at Sherwood Forest and making the horses warm and comfortable, Jen Martin and Master Travis kept an eye on our horses, so riders could head down the road to Breakfast at Indian Fields Tavern for a lovely catered breakfast. Kris Goeckeritz greeted us at the door; Debbie and Doug Hackman provided a fabulous musical duo, Featherstone and Tiller, that we enjoyed while chatting around the fire pit; drinking libations from the Indian Fields Bar Wagon; and enjoying the delicious buffet provided by owners Debbie and Pat Weller. All in all, it was a wonderful day of good sport and good friends! Here’s to another season!

    Please enjoy the photos of Closing Meet and others taken all year long by Joe Svetina and Julia Bowman found at commonwealthartists.net under “Events”.

    Thank you Joe and Julia!


  • Monday, January 30, 2023 11:07 AM | Deleted user

    On a beautiful day for hunting; riders, horses, hounds and guests gathered on the front field of Evelynton Plantation for a delightful stirrup cup to start the day off.  All moved off as Huntsman Martyn Blackmore hunted some of Evelynton Plantation and continued on to the Ruffins Big Buckland. Car followers witnessed with perfect views of the days hunt from the topside of all the rolling fields of Big Buckland.

    An abundant tailgate with lavish foods and drink adorned in silver was set up by the amazing event team of Steve and Merri Musso, Katherine Mitchell, Brett Whitsitt, Kim and Mark Burnett, Natasha and Brian Gaeley, Emily and Ed Pease, Vanessa Roselli, Brett, Gen Hahn, Kathy Huntsinger, Mary Stuart and "Leroy" the fox, Mary Pugh, and Amy and Kenzie Zydel. Many thanks for such a great team effort making the day delightful.

    The hunt joined the tailgate on their way home . Then back to Evelynton for another extravagant potluck breakfast to top the wonderful day. No one went home hungry or thirsty.






     

    Thanks to PAH and Cedarview farm for sponsoring the stirrup cup and tailgate. Much gratitude extended to our landowners Jeanine Hinson and the Ruffins.

     

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