IN THE FIELD: Riding To The Hounds

I was revisiting my film archives, as I do from time to time, to select images to scan and capture as electronic files. I came across this image, and while I recall taking the shot and the situation surrounding the event, it sparked my imagination.

I envisioned this gentleman had just mounted his hunter on an early fall day, and was headed to greet his guests for the fox hunt. They would all gather in the great hall for a traditional hunt breakfast and then head out for a ride to the hounds. The group of mounted riders and packs of fox hounds would traverse the estate through the woods and fields. Eventually making their way back to the manor, they would celebrate with champagne cordials.

In reality, this is one of the officials at the Radnor Hunt Races which take place in Malvern Pennsylvania. It’s a annual multi-race steeplechase event. The course covers several miles of countryside with jumps, puddles, hedges, fences, and other obstacles for horse and rider to navigate. And all proceeds from the Radnor Hunt Races benefit the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

  1. June 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

    And here I thought you’d be in the riding attire 😉 Rider and horse both look very distinguished.

  2. June 22, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Originally I was going to say it was a self portrait ha ha.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Very cool shot!

    • June 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks Gracie, it was really cool watching the horse and riders ZOOM past at full gallup!!!

  4. Jo Woolf
    June 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Is there a hunt in most US states, or is it just confined to Pennsylvania? The names Radnor and Malvern sound so familiar!

    • June 25, 2012 at 10:52 am

      I wonder if hunts are something common only in Pennsylvania. I will have to look into that.
      I cheated and looked up the history on Wikipedia.
      Named after the Malvern Hills, close to the Welsh border in England, Malvern was originally settled by Welsh immigrants in the 17th century. William Penn sold them the land for 10 cents an acre, along with the rest of the land on the Welsh tract.
      Once a country retreat for Philadelphia’s most prominent families, the community includes the estates of Woodcrest (now Cabrini College), Walmarthon (now Eastern University), Bolingbroke, Rock Rose, and The Woods. Radnor is near Villanova and St. Davids

      • Jo Woolf
        June 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        Wow, so Malvern was settled by Welsh immigrants! Very interesting, and Radnor too. Thank you VERY much for looking up the history – I love this! 🙂

  5. June 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I’m afraid of horses because I noticed they try to bite you(almost all of them).
    Anyway, your photos is nice.

    • June 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Glad you like the photo Cornel, try not to be afraid of horses, they are just like big doggies and try to get away with whatever they can.

  6. June 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Great shot! I just love horses, and this one is so poised.

    • June 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Thanks Fergie, yes it sure was a pretty horse and these two made a perfect team.

  7. June 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    A rich, elegant photo, David.

  8. June 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Thank you John, both horse and rider look so proud.

  9. June 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

    So very Royal 🙂 Lovely shot 🙂

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Royal is what I thought too! It’s a fun event…most folks are all dressed up and ladies in fancy hats etc.

  10. June 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Yes this is a fantastic shot.. I went to my first steeplechase even in April here in Hunt Valley MD and I had a really good time.

  11. June 30, 2012 at 9:26 am

    They are pretty exciting for sure…my wife wanted to do that when she was a little girl. She was a jumper and thought the steeplechase would be fun. Her father said “no way!”

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