Hillsboro Hounds Opening Meet

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By Dana Burke, Honorary Secretary Hillsboro Hounds; photos by Lynne Thompson

Hillsboro Hounds hosted its 89th Opening Hunt on November 13, 2021 at the beautiful Far Corner Farm (Lynnville, TN area) owned by Michael Lindley, MFH and Nina Lindley. It was extremely well attended by both riding and non-riding members. All attendees were in a very festive mood and ready to be back out with everyone after the pandemic year 2020.  

The bagpiper Jay Dawson played as the mounted riders and other guests gathered in front of the house for the Blessing of the Hounds by Father Ed Steiner of St. Phillip Catholic Church, Franklin, Tenn.  Hill McAlister, MFH began his announcements with the acknowledgement of our youngest and oldest riders on horseback this year. Bill Andrews at 90 was on his trusty mount, as was 10-year-old Rosie Voigt on her pony, as both prepared to enjoy a great day of sport. Tiny Evelyn Hart, great granddaughter of the late Henry Hooker, MFH, at age 3 made an appearance for the Blessing mounted on her lovely pony, but did not ride out with the hounds. 

Huntsman Johnnie Gray took out 20½ couple of hounds for Opening Meet. Gray reported on the day’s hunt.

“Hounds met at Jt. Master Michael Lindley’s Far Corner Farm on a day with a clear blue sky and winds at 7 mph from the north. Not conducive for good sport, but the hounds didn’t know that.

“They struck a coyote on Time Out Farm [owned by Hill and Emily McAlister] and had a good run until the pack split.  Hounds got back together and cold-trailed for a while, then got their coyote up running again, but toward a road that we did not want to cross. The coyote did a U-turn and headed back into the hunt country. When we looked over the large mowed bean field, there were two coyotes in front of the hounds. They ran into the big woods, where scent got spotty.

“We drew around the rest of Time Out Farm and were coming out of a small briary cover when a hound opened. All hounds got in on this and ran a coyote back the way we had come. After a fast chase, the hounds were stopped near a busy road.

“It was a great Opening Hunt with action lasting almost three hours. At the end of the day, hounds had run 17 miles and Whipper-ins covered over 20 miles.”

Kennel Huntsman Leilani Gray commented: “Nothing like a 20-plus mile Opening Hunt to start the season. Going to brag on our horses and our Farrier Eric Barnett. Thank you for keeping us going!”

After a truly amazing day of sport, the group attended a lovely luncheon in the festively decorated tent, entertained by the Evan Cobb jazz band, with libations, great company, and tasty food.

Hillsboro Hounds is truly grateful to the four Masters – Orrin Ingram, Michael Lindley, Hill McAlister and Eleanor Warriner – who were all in attendance for their lovely party, luncheon and hunt.  Everyone was having so much fun they stayed late and thoroughly enjoyed the day from start to finish.

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