By: Violet Forbes on
Oct. 16th, 2017
Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds of Coatesville, Pa., dominated Hunt Night, sponsored by Kinsley Construction, at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, presented by The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. Riders of the Cheshire Foxhounds won three classes and received ribbons in all five events on Monday night to claim the championship title for the eighth time since the inception of Hunt Night.
One surprising championship contributor was Olympic veteran Boyd Martin who competed in and won the Gentlemen's Hunter Under Saddle, sponsored by Roundtop Mountain Resort with Right On Que, owned by Tanya Emslie of Unionville, Pa.
Martin just placed third in the Dutta Corp./Fair Hill International Three-Day Event CCI*** this past weekend and decided to drive up at the suggestion of one of his fellow members from Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds.
"In November and December I pretend to be a foxhunter with the Cheshire and somehow I got roped into competing in the Hack," said Martin. "I had no idea what it involved, but it was brilliant! I've never been to anything like this before. I got lent a horse and had a bit of training in the collecting ring and went in there and had a crack at the class. It was great fun."
A total of 20 teams from 13 Hunt Clubs participated in the Hunt Team competition, the highlight of the evening. Each team consisted of three riders who rode in the arena at the same time. The course featured a series of fences with the riders following each other mimicking a hunt and at the final obstacle they jumped in unison.
Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds - Team Two won the event with members Joy Slater, Skylar McKenna and Erika Nesler. They almost missed the event altogether, though, when their truck broke down about 40 miles from the show.
"Our truck lost radiator fluid and we almost didn't make it here," said Slater. "Fortunately, we were able to work it out and get another truck and trailer. It's such a great horse show I would have hated to miss it. I love this show and I love Hunt Night. It is so much fun."
Other classes held on Hunt Night included the Field Hunters for Riders 35 Years of Age and Under, sponsored by the Hempt Bros. The event was won by 17-year-old Autumn Rogers of the Bull Run Hunt - Team 2, riding JT. Rogers has been hunting for nine years, but this was the first time the Orange, Va. resident competed at Harrisburg.
"It was a little nerve-racking, but I'm really happy," said Rogers. "Winning means a lot. It shows that all of the hard work will pay off in the end if you work hard enough."
Nancy Roberts and Bermunda took top honors in the Field Hunters for Riders 36 Years of Age and Over, sponsored by Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC. Roberts, of Sparks, Md., represented the Green Spring Valley Hounds, where her father, Duck Martin, served as Master of the Hounds. Roberts has competed in Hunt Night three times, but this was her first victory.
"I'm very happy, I'm very proud of my horse," said Roberts. "I can't really believe it. I usually just foxhunt, I don't show, so this was a nice surprise."
Right On Que also won the Ladies' Hunter Under Saddle, sponsored by Carol Copeland. This time owner Emslie was in the saddle. Emslie represented Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds and has participated in Hunt Night many times, though this was her first win.
"It's very exciting. I am so proud of my horse," said Emslie. "It's a great honor because there are so many beautiful horses and great riders. It's so amazing to win and to have an Olympian ride your horse is pretty phenomenal. I am overwhelmed."
There was a three way tie for the Hunt Night Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by Winter Gardens Quality Foods. Rogers, Roberts and Emslie all shared the honor.