October 8, 2012
Winner of the 3′ $1000 Hunter Derby: Morley Thompson on Stoneybrook (photo credit: www.suzannefischer.com)
“A tradition unlike any other,” The Hunter Trials at Clippinger Field in Indian Hill.
The 72nd annual Camargo Hunter Trials, which this year could be better known as The Bourbon Trials took place on Saturday, October 6 on a gorgeous autumn afternoon. The day long affair calls for your most stylish boots, form fitting slacks, and a touch of tweed.
Ashley Maguire, Kenneth Wright, Bernard Luna Curioso, Shawn Baker, Amy Spasoff, Andrew Campbell, Kyle Kivett, and Steve Newsome
The horses and the hounds
At the 71st annual event I recall it being an unsuspectingly balmy October day, not exactly the right recipe for one’s hunting attire. Thankfully this year both the weather and the fashion cooperated accordingly. Established in 1925, the Camargo Hunt is one of the oldest hunts in the country. Field hunter trials were originated to test hunt horses and riders. Although neither horse nor hound were harmed in this production, it still makes for a popular form of equestrian competition. More than that, the event makes for a wonderful backdrop to some world class tailgating.
After observing a few of the events with my own pup in tow, I made my way to the tailgate of Dave Sanders and Scott Telford. Last year they took home the blue ribbon for being “Most Ambitious.” Would a repeat performance be in the cards?? Not exactly. On Saturday, they earned “Most Creative.”
Local chefs Jono Fries (co-owner of Boca and Nada) along with Jeremy Lieb (Boca chef) judged the tailgates based on a criteria of taste and presentation. While the Sanders/Telford tailgate did have its fair share of food, I think it was the impressive bourbon selection that won over the judges. Paging Dr. Daniels, Dr. Jack Daniels…
I could have easily been sucked into the comforts of the black hole tailgate lifestyle — meaningless small talk, a delightful crudité platter, and more bourbon, but I decided it would be worth my while to take another lap around the field. I’m glad I did.
New this year, the brush jump (photo credit: www.suzannefischer.com)
Here’s the highlight reel of the top blue ribbon winners:
- 3′ $1000 Hunter Derby: Morley Thompson on Stoneybrook
- 2’6″ $500 Hunter Derby: Madeline Bletzacker on Landtino S
- Qualified Foxhunter Division: Kaitlin Arnett on Million (owned by Trena Kerr)
- Children’s Hunter (fences 3′ to 3’3″): Nicki Davis on Never Say Never
- Adult Amateur (fences 3′ to 3’3″): Julie McVey on Fox
- Tailgate Overall Champion: Findaway Farm
the hounds gathering for the hunt
Of all the events, I was probably the most intrigued by the hounds parading with the huntmaster. The course signifies how horses and hounds would ride together on a typical fox hunt — not something you see every day. The hounds are followed by the Field Hunter group (who jump), who are followed by the Field Hilltopper group (who don’t jump). Then, the Whips (who actually do carry whips) ride on the outskirts to keep the hounds contained.
Chrissy Goldcamp & John Rubin
As the afternoon came to a close, I wasn’t sure if I was wiped from the sensory overload or if the bourbon was suddenly becoming a 4 o’clock nap cap. Before I fell victim to anymore mountains of maneur, I gathered my riding boots, my tired pup, and enjoyed one last succulent piece of fried chicken. Then, I trotted off into the sunset on my beautiful (albeit fictional) horse Maker’s Mark.
For a look at more photos from the day, please visit our Facebook album HERE.
*Photo credits (where not otherwise specified): Stephanie Wilks, All Rights Reserved.to top ↑