Photos by Joanne Maisano
The annual Orange County Hounds Team Chase is modeled after the traditional English Team Chase and has evolved into a friendly foxhunting competition designed for riders of all levels over jumps that are commonly found in the hunt field. On Sunday, Oct. 30 — an unseasonably warm and sunny day — horses and riders galloped across rolling fields, jumping coops, stone walls and logs while the spectators on the hill cheered on their favorite teams.
Nearly 100 riders participated, including 20 juniors, in the Hilltopper Pairs Division or on teams of four in the First Flight Division.
Seventeen pairs of horses and riders competed in the Hilltopper Division over a course of 12 jumps. The winner of the Hilltopper Pairs Best Turned Out was the K Squared Team from Casanova Hunt with Kathleen O’Keefe on Roucouler and Kathleen Lyons on Prince of Diamonds. The overall Best Hilltopper Pair over fences was from the Loudoun Fairfax Hunt with Carlee Cox on Shy Girl and Ellie Hastings on Meadow Jubilation.
The First Flight Teams are comprised of three to four riders covering approximately 3 miles at a hunting pace over a course of 18 jumps. Eighteen teams competed for Best Hunt Team and the Ideal Time award.
The winners of the First Flight Best Turned Out were an impeccably appointed team from Middleburg Hunt with George Kuk wearing a scarlet coat and his three stunning teammates in elegant sidesaddle attire: Devon Zebrovious, Bernadette Boland and Maureen Britell.
Traveling all the way from Pennsylvania, the River Hills Foxhounds team was the victor in the First Flight Best Hunt Team with Tiffany Catledge on Kilkelly All’s Well, Lana Polito on Midas, Collin Reynolds on Good Fortune and Cameron Rouse on Rummy.
A crowd favorite and winners of the Ideal Time Award hailed from Piedmont Fox Hounds and was an all-junior team with the experienced Haley Alcock on Encounter the Judge leading the way, and sisters Tatiana Pejacsevich on Soup of the Day and Chiara Pejacsevich on Wyklyns First Knight following close behind at a gallop.
The final two events of the day were the First Flight Junior Championship and the First Flight Adult Championship. The 2015 Junior Champion was Andrew Looney on Captain Jack. The First Flight Adult Champion and winner of the beautiful Alfred Hunt Perpetual Challenge Trophy was Angie Cooney on Here Comes the Judge with the MOC Beagles. ML