Opening Meet: Sunday 29 November
It was a lovely, cool, breezy morning for the Opening Meet. Unfortunately there had been no rain in the previous week but the going was still reasonable and most of the watering points had some water. Water had to be transported to the end of the first line at Claassen’s Corner as there was only a muddy slush in the gully. Considering the conditions, organisers were pleased to see 40 riders in the field.
The hounds were well behaved despite the fact that they haven’t had the schooling and warm-ups that they would normally have had before the season starts in earnest. They were so keen they left early on the first line and the drag had to do a mad gallop to get to the end of the line ahead of the pack.
On the second line the wind and a tricky turn by the jackal took the pack on a short cut. Luckily they picked up the scent hunting it heel (the wrong way). This allowed Margie to get in front of them and turn them around to hunt to the check. All this is directly in front of the car followers giving them a front-seat view of the hunt servants in action. All equipped themselves well and went about their individual jobs to restore order safely and calmly.
Many new and a lot of familiar faces were present at the breakfast after the hunt. Sue Goodman, Lawrence Clark, Gunther Hartman and Peter Mendelsohn were all seen enjoying the occasion. Conor Doak , Joint Master of the Rand Hunt, welcomed every one to the Opening Meet breakfast and presented Moritz with a hip flask and leather sandwich case that had belonged to George Von Schwartzkoppen, a Field Master for many years. It was nearly 5 pm when the last of the happy hunters went home.
Children’s Meet, Sunday 6th December
This meet is for the junior riders. Although adults are welcome, they are reminded that the purpose of this meet is to introduce young riders to draghunting. Adult and experienced hunters are asked to ensure that the junior and novice hunters are well looked after and are kept safe and happy. That having been said, this hunt is one of the best and biggest of the season. It is always great fun to see the kids enthusiastically enjoying the thrill of hunting.
Riders will meet at 7.30am in the new Inanda Country Base Bowl. Cars and horseboxes should use the ICB West Gate (next to the Saddlebrook entrance). Park and off-load behind the main arena grandstand. All are encouraged to support the breakfast after the hunt kindly supplied by the Rand Hunt Pony Club.