This Bear Creek Hounds Junior Hunt gives the junior riders the opportunity to ride alongside veterans of the hunt who act as mentors ready to field questions, give advice and make the hunt a pleasant experience. The parents of the juniors, whether they ride with the hounds or ride along in the tally ho wagons are a wonderful support for our hunt. The parents provide a fabulous stirrup cup and hunt breakfast to help celebrate the day at the Bear Creek Junior Hunt. After the hunt, the young riders are encouraged to discuss the day’s activities with the masters and the hunt staff. The junior riders are always welcomed on the hunt field throughout the hunt season and Bear Creek Hounds rarely casts without children in tow!
The kennels are not a foreign place to the Bear Creek Hounds juniors, who have a unique opportunity to learn about the hounds and their training from Huntsman Guy Cooper and his professional staff. The insights the riders gain about the interaction between huntsman, hounds and quarry adds immensely to their enjoyment and understanding of the sport. They also learn about scenting and how the huntsman uses his horn and voice to control the hounds.
The Bear Creek Hounds staff relies on these juniors to work with the hounds at the puppy shows during the spring. The youngsters are encouraged to get involved with the puppies’ training and socialization. In April, Friday nights are for puppy show practice and outdoor BBQ’s, yet another opportunity for the all members to get together to enjoy the camaraderie of the sport of foxhunting. We at Bear Creek feel that the juniors are the future of foxhunting and are thrilled to have so many interested youngsters participating in all aspects of the sport.
The Bear Creek Hounds Junior Program
The Bear Creek Hounds Juniors Program introduces young riders to a centuries-old sport that offers challenges and thrills not found in video games or at the mall. These young riders absorb lessons in the hunt field that prepare them for life — good sportsmanship, honesty, stewardship of the land, horsemanship and good manners, just to name a few.
The highlight of our junior program is the Bear Creek Junior Hunt just for young riders. Through an intense education program before the day of the special hunt, they learn about the hunt staff and its functions: The master of the hounds, the huntsman, the whippers-in, the road whippers-in and the field masters and how each has important roles to play during a hunt. The young riders learn about the many traditions of the sport, such as protocol, dress and appointments. But more importantly, the emphasis at the Bear Creek Hounds Junior Program is for the riders to improve their horsemanship through safe riding skills and proper etiquette in the field, on the trail and in the arena. They are well prepared for the day and enjoy putting their hunt education to work in the field for a day of sport.