December 20-21 was truely a great weekend in Aiken.The Aiken Hounds had our annual Christmas meet at the beautiful Green Boundary Club.Three years ago,on a dare I wore a full fledged Santa Suit to the meet and hunted the hounds.With a FULL wig and beard I galloped through the woods blowing the horn hunting, the hounds with the added excitement of a FULL set of sleigh bells around my favorite drag horse (machine) Charlie Ferrari.
With each year this meet has grown in size and in fun with all the field and foot followers adorning all sorts of Chritmasy things.There is/ are lots of tinsel,ribbon,balls,elf hats,antlers,bells even Christmas blinking lights in the manes and tails.Last year we even had a human Christmas present show up.This year I added a full pillow and more bells to my attire.
Rudolf,and all the other reindeer show up, more elves, a few angels and even Mrs.Claus was there this year.This meet is especially great for the local economy as all the local emporiums benefit from this excercise.Target,Wal Mart and CVS Drugs were VERY well represented as well as many of the local florists.All the staff horses adorned magnificent wreaths that were carefully homemade.Beautiful Christmas stock ties were given out as presents.Tons of great photos were taken.Smiles were everywhere.
I counted over 65 horses in the field.What a magnificent sight it was to look back at all the horses hacking down Berrie Road to the woods.Many thanks to our traffic control volunteers.
We had a lovely go with three drags.Lots of jumping that brought even more color to the field!There was plenty of Christmas cheer at each check.After a cool drink for the hounds , off we'd go with the next drag.We finished our day at the famous Crawford fences and hacked back to the meet.
But the day was not over.A delicious breakfast was to follow at the Green Boundary.By the end of the morning Santa Sat in the chair with a belly full of the very famous lace cookies and took Christmas wishes from most our male foxhunting friends.He will certainly be very busy this year.Hopefully after a day like that he will fit down the chimney and not get stuck!
Long may this tradition last.Each year at Thanksgiving, it is hard to describe the wonderful feeling of putting on the green coat for the first time.Putting on the sleigh bells and the red suit is another great honor!There is nothing to compare to the sound of the bells in perfect rythm while humming on down to the Aikens behind hounds.The sound they make while galloping being broken only when airborne over the jumps and then repeating towards the next fence will be with me forever.
A very Merry Christmas to all!