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Opening Fox Hunts 2017


Erin Saunders, riding Tizmo, with her daughter Tinsley on the pony Riot (Gretchen Pelham)

Diesel – owned by DeeAnn Ladwig (Gretchen Pelham)

Huntsman Ryan Johnsey with the TVH hounds (Gretchen Pelham)

Oak Grove Hunt Whippers-In Barbara Henking and Brynda Read (photo by Pam Wade)

Oak Grove Hunt MFH Tom Brannon on Tessa, with Rev. Paul Criss of New Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Tennessee, Officiant of the Blessing of the Hounds. (photo by Pam Wade)
October and November are the prime months for beginning the formal foxhunting season. The following mid-south hunts have scheduled their Opening Meets and Blessing of the Hounds on these dates.

Tennessee Valley Hunt (TV) Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds was originally scheduled for October 28 at the Berry Hill Fixture, owned by Dr. Tracy and Debbie Dobbs, and Big Valley fixture in Greeneville, Tennessee. But when a cold rain and rapidly dropping temperatures came in on Saturday, the hunt was moved to Sunday, October 29.

The TVA enjoyed a good hunt on Sunday, too. “Hounds hit on the coyote within the first 30 minutes just outside of the Dobb’s house, where it was viewed by First Flight. Hounds ran it past the field where the Blessing was held and into Big Valley, a neighboring fixture of about 800 acres of cattle farm. The coyote ran around Big Valley and came back to the Berry Hill, where Hilltoppers viewed it crossing the road near the Blessing field. It then turned back into Big Valley, ran around another loop, and then decided to just leave all together and went into Greeneville city limits,” wrote Ryan Johnsey, MFH. 

The pack ran 13 miles total that day, and it was too many for the huntsman’s, Ryan Johnsey, MFH, horse. When the Tally Ho wagon made it to Champagne Hill in the middle of Big Valley for our champagne break, Johnsey ditched his horse and caught a ride in a Mercedes to a truck, so he could pick up the hounds that were dangerously close to Highway 11E. When he reached lead hounds, he literally had to tackle the lead hound, Willard, to get them to stop hunting, reported Gretchen Pelham. 

Oak Grove Hunt Club celebrated its Opening Meet and Blessing of the Hounds on October 28 in Holly Springs, Mississippi at the McGee’s Lodge Farm on Hudsonville Road.

Founded in 1946, Oak Grove celebrated its 71st Opening Meet. Rain and much cooler weather came in on Friday, making good scenting conditions for Saturday’s hunt. The hounds were able to hunt a new, additional 2,000 acres adjacent to the regular hunt territory this day.

Longreen Foxhounds held its 60th Opening Meet on November 4 at the McFadden’s Birdlands in Como, Mississippi.
Hillsboro Hounds held its Opening Meet on November 4 at Colonial Hill near Lynnville, TN. Information at:

Chula Homa Hunt holds its Opening Meet on November 11 at McGowan Lake in Brandon, Mississippi. Info:

Cedar Knob Hounds, a private pack in Lynnville, Tennessee, holds its Opening Meet on November 19, by invitation only.
Mells Foxhounds’ Opening Meet is November 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, at Circle G Ranch, Lynnville, TN. Find information at:

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