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.
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