Organizers of the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship have announced dates for the 2015 competition:
Middleburg Hunt – Monday, October 5, 2015
Old Dominion Hounds – Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Warrenton Hunt – Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Piedmont Fox Hounds – Thursday, October 8, 2015
Hunter Championship Finals will take place Saturday morning, October 10, 2015 at Glenwood Park. $5000 in purse money will be awarded – $2,500 to the hunt represented by the winning horse ridden by its owner, and $2,500 to the hunt represented by the winning horse ridden by someone other than its owner.
Trophies are also awarded to the Reserve Champion, as well as Best Turned Out, Most Suitable Pair and for the highest level of Sportsmanship.
Founded in 1989, this event brings together fox hunting enthusiasts from all across the U.S. and Canada who participate in the week long trial.
Mounted judges ride alongside the numbered contestants as they hunt with four area Fox Hunts. At the end of each day’s hunting, the judges announce the horse and rider combinations selected to compete in the finals held Saturday at Glenwood Park.
The finals are held prior to the start of the first race.
The Saturday morning finals of the Field Hunter Championship give racing spectators an unique opportunity to watch high-level field hunter and rider combinations dressed in proper hunting attire in a performance test. Competitors participate in a mock hunt, and finalists are then asked individually to negotiate a handy hunter course in the center of the racecourse, for the championship title.
They might be asked to dismount and re-mount from a log, unlatch a gate and close it from horseback, or trot over a fallen tree. The judges ask the riders to show each horse’s different hunting skills, and after these individual tasks are completed, the championship is decided.
The Field Hunter Championship competition offers: Four days of hunting privileges to the same horse and rider combination; eligibility for awards given out throughout the week; and General Admission tickets to the Virginia Fall Races and complimentary listing in the race program.
Events each evening include private receptions, a screening of Goodnight Ladies: a Portrait of Nancy Penn Smith Hannum, with director Christianna Hannum at the National Sporting Library and Museum, and a Friday night Calcutta sponsored by INOVA Hospital.
The event is judged according to the manners, style and suitability of foxhunting mounts. Awards are also offered for Best Turned Out each day. Judges have been drawn from foxhunts in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Participation is open to foxhunters of all ages; however, entry is limited to the first 60 registrants. The entry fee is $250 per horse. Entries close September 26, 2015. Entry forms are available at www.VAFallRaces.com.