The First Snow
Only the tough and hardy turned up on Sunday to brave the frosty weather. For me hunting is a cold weather sport. The first half of the season was far too warm. Yesterday was perfect, there was a dusting of snow and it was cold! Even the stirrup cup of port goes down better in the cold and gives us some warmth! I was fully prepared for today with my thermals out but I suffered really bad cold feet – has anybody got any recommendations for cold busting socks?
It was lovely to see Jess bring out Darcy after his break. Darcy looked eager and keen to go but still listening to jockey Jess. Morag did well on Sooty as she trotted around at the back. At the end of each line Tilly had stilettos (her feet filled with chunks of ice!!) which didn't match considering she's a hunter! It was great to have Caroline was back from her amazing safari holiday around Africa which made me very jealous about how close she got to the wild animals. Mike Van Oostrum led the footfollowers to all the key locations to watch the hunt goers.
The hounds where in full cry and eager to begin the days hunting. All the horses began to puff up with excitement and the cold weather seemed to fuel them even more. Barossa is a perfect meet for January’s wetter weather as the ground conditions where good with only a small amount of boggier ground but we still had to dodge the puddles. The field zoomed through woodland,tracks and common ground. We had a couple of long gallops ascending up hill, which was perfect as it took the sting out of the horses. Barossa is a perfect meet for first timers as all jumps are optional.
At the end of the line it's a great feeling when I'm sat on Tilly and I see the breath from her nose. I love it when you can see the steam coming off of all the horses backs, creating a massive cloud of warm steam engulfing all riders. At one point I felt like I was sharing an equestrian steam room!
After four amazing lines it was time to wash down the horses. Luckily for Christmas I got an electric washer so my hands didn’t freeze in a bucket of water! We had another amazing tea with Natalie and my nan making super yummy pork and stuffing rolls. There was also fresh bread, cheese, brownies and other goodies. Tea is one of my favourite times during the social side of hunting as you talk about your day and chat to new faces. I was speaking to a lovely American lady who had a hireling, she persuaded me to go over to Ireland and check out their hunting. It's great to talk to people about hunting as it widens your hunting lore.
Thanks to AVO for arranging the meet. Barry was great opening and closing the main gate, putting the water on ahead of time so we could all have a hot drink upon our return and for waiting in the cold for us to get back safely. Thanks to Jamie for taking the first field, Caroline lead the second field and I understand John Potter even had a select few in his own third field. DigitalPicy never lets us down regardless of the weather. Make sure you order some photos, as we don't often get shots in the snow.
We had one tumbler and she took two falls! All in a good days hunting. Last year I fell off three times in one meet at Barossa!!
By Ellie Simpson-Ball
Photos courtesy of DigitalPicy
Blogger; Ellie Simpson-Ball
All Enquiries to the Hunt Secretary: email@example.com
Web design by Andie firstname.lastname@example.org | Website sponsored by DigitalPicy
The SC & RMAS Draghunt Limited, Registered Company No. 7276827, is a Not For Profits Limited Company
Sandhurst Draghunt © 2017 | All Rights Reserved