Courtesy of Bill Gamble
Nichole Carman, Mary Chanler, Mary's father Andrew Chanler, and Joint-MFH Martha D. Wadsworth at the GVH meet at Thorne Farm before the young girl's first outing in the hunt field.
Fifth generation fox hunter joins the field
The Genesee Valley Hunt has the distinction of being the oldest foxhunt in America still hunting its original territory. It also has the distinction of now having two families that have enjoyed the sport for five generations.
Not surprisingly, the first family to do so is the Wadsworths, with Will and Louise Wadsworth’s and Meg and Billy Lloyd’s children being active foxhunters for several years now. Billy’s mother, Perky, was one of W.P. Wadsworth’s four children, along with Joint-Masters Austin and Martha Wadsworth, and Sally Wood. Will is Austin’s son.
The second family to join this unique group is the Chanler family of Geneseo. Enjoying more than just a ceremonial outing on her first hunt, nine-year-old Mary Chanler rode for over three hours in the Oct. 8 meet at Thorne farm, easily keeping up with the field on a lively day.
Mary is the daughter of Andrew and Alison Chanler. Her family has been hunting with the Hunt all the way back to her great-great grandfather Winthrop Chanler, who was Master of Foxhounds here in the 1920s.
Wearing her father’s hunt coat from when he was a lad, Mary was joined by her friend Nichole Carman, also nine years old, who is the granddaughter of Judy Scoville who hunted with Mike Kelley for many years. The two were mounted on ponies belonging to Mary Donegan, who, along with Nancy Kelly of Hickory Hill Farm, has helped to turn both girls into fine young riders.
“I had been asking to go for years,” Mary stated when we spoke at the Race Meet. Although short on words to describe her experience, she summed it up by saying, “I couldn’t stop smiling.”
There are no trophies or ribbons awarded for taking part in this kind of riding, but the memories of being outdoors on a good horse, not knowing exactly where you will be going or what will happen next, will last a lifetime.
Thanks to the generosity of landowners, and now the existence of the Genesee Valley Conservancy, those memories should continue for generations to come.
GVH Hunter Pace follow last weekend’s Race Meet with another winner
The combination of perfect fall weather, riding through the heart of hunt country, and for some a good schooling opportunity prior to the upcoming old-fashioned point-to-point (P2P) brought well over 100 riders to the GVH kennels for a 6.2 mile romp through the countryside.
In the Fast Time division, GVH Master Marion Thorne and husband Travis Thorne galloped home in 18:04 for the win, she on her Point-to-Point winner from last year, Irish Ramble, and he on Staunch’s Bleu Boy. Second fastest was a trio comprised of Janey Barrett on Gail McGuire’s Wee Highland Star (and what a star she is); Piper Wadsworth on Mo, and Wendy Sisson on Willow.
Third place was claimed by Barrett and Wadsworth having a second go, this time on Martha C. Wadsworth’s Kadota and Mercaldo respectively, as “Major Martha” was out of town for the weekend and wanted her two horses to have a good workout before the P2P.
The Adult Optimum Time division was the largest, with twenty-one teams, and the most hotly-contested. With an optimum time set at 44:07, the first place team came in at 44:14. Claiming the honors were the father/daughter team of Randy and Emily Terho on King and Standish respectively. (As a side note, Standish formerly belonged to John Chanler.) Susan Kelley on Redford Nibblesworth and Sharon Presutti on Big Timber put in a time of 44:20, and Aja Cherry on Ataktos, Kim Crane on Severance Package, and Marina Ayres on Meatball, all from Penfield, clocked a time of 44:23.
The Junior Optimum Time division of four teams was a bit more spread out, with Lydia Eilinger on Black Points Tillamook and Ann Eilinger on Bruce Stewart’s Honey Locust Mate coming home with a time of 46:35. Young lads Joe Thorne on Lucky Buckets and Aidan Mulligan on Christopher Robin obviously have a different idea about what constitutes an optimum time, as they cruised home in 33:26, while Whitney Dennison on Zeus, and Kim Williams on Millie took a more leisurely pace to arrive in 61:39.
Placings in the Hilltoppers division are awarded based on the median time of the entries. With one team strolling its way around in an hour and 35 minutes, it was clear that hilltoppers do things in their own time, and there were 19 teams with whom that was just fine. Prizes went to: 1. Ann Jenson with Tommy and Linda Walnes with Augie; 2. Christine Zeger with Darby and Jean Kiefer-Wood with Faeregold Twostep; 3. Carol Kozlowski with Beth Anne Harris’s Hideaway’s East Cork and Kate Davies with Jak.
Thanks is extended to landowners Thea Killeen, Hank and Laura Minor, Marion and Travis Thorne, Martha C. and Martha D. Wadsworth, and Sally Wood, and as well as volunteers Judy Hart, Erica Hutten, Darcy Lynch, Gail McGuire, Annie Morss, and Barb Stwertka.
Sunday, October 28 – Irish Draught Horse Society of North America (IDHSNA) Hunter Pace at Batzing Farm in Caledonia. This is the last scheduled hunter pace of the season, so don’t miss it! All equines, riders, and tack are welcome; helmets required. Four divisions: fast time, optimum time, junior optimum time, and hilltoppers for teams of two-to-three riders. Course is approximately six miles over fair hunt country. New, more-inviting jumps for 2012. All jumps are optional.
Fast time entries 9 – 10 a.m. All others 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. followed by picnic and awards. Special awards for Irish Draught Horses. Entries $30 per horse/rider pair; $20 for IDHSNA members.
For more information contact Sarah Batzing at 585-303-1888 or Annie Morss at 585-704-0985 or AnnMorss@msn.com