For the master, the day just couldn't have been any better.
"The weather was about perfect and the leaves are changing, and it wasn't too cold and it wasn't too hot and it wasn't too windy. So, things went very smoothly," said Epp Wilson, the president of the Belle Meade Hunt Club. "It was as nice a one as we've had in a long time."
Approximately 350 spectators attended the 43rd annual opening meet of the Belle Meade Fox Hunt last Saturday. As they do every year, the spectators rode in truck-pulled Tally-Ho wagons following behind 115 riders and 28 hounds hot on the trail of a simulated fox hunt.
"Fox hunting in general is just a wonderful combination of horses, hounds and the great outdoors," Mr. Wilson said. "Opening meet is a festival celebrating the sport. ... And we are blessed and appreciate all the support that we get from the community."
The day began with the traditional ham breakfast in the morning, followed by the Blessing of the Hounds and the presentation of the Saint Hubert Medals after noon by the Reverend Father Ed Frank, presiding Chaplain.
Jack and Jeffie Rowland of Athens, Ga., were honored during the opening ceremony. The couple has been members of the hunt for over 30 years, and Mrs. Rowland is a foxhunt artist whose cartoons and caricatures appear in many national magazines.
"This is the best thing in our lives," Mr. Rowland said when they were honored.