Welcome to the annual Aiken Horse Hunt Directory for 2015-2016, providing important dates, information and contact numbers for Aiken’s four recognized hunts, as well as the Belle Meade Hunt in nearby Thomson, Ga. Aiken’s formal hunting season starts in November and last until March. With so many hunts in the area, real hunt junkies can be following the hounds six days a week, if they have enough horses and enough stamina to do it. If you would like to hunt or just come watch, please check in with the hunt secretary or MFH before showing up.
Hitchcock Woods; Aiken, SC.
Hunt attire: Green coat with a chamois collar. Evening: Scarlet with green facings, chamois collar.
Master of Foxhounds: Mrs. Linda Knox McLean, Mr. Larry Byers, Mrs. Joann Peace
Contact: Hon. Sec. Dr. Linda C. Hickey, 803.507.7478, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotline 803.643.3724. www.facebook.com/aikenhounds.
Season: Mid-October through mid-March (the annual Thanksgiving Day Blessing of the Hounds at Memorial Gate in the Hitchcock Woods is an Aiken tradition. Don’t miss it!)
Hunt days: Tuesdays and Saturdays
Opening Meet: Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Aiken Hounds, established in 1914 by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hitchcock and recognized by the MFHA in 1916, hunts the 2,200 acres of the Hitchcock Woods. The Aiken Hounds is the only drag hunt in the area. Ideal for riders on a tight schedule, Aiken Hounds outings are most often completed in a few hours. The Aiken Hounds typically hosts three flights: first flight, for fast moving, jumping horses; second flight, which follows first flight but does not jump; and hilltoppers, who ride at a slower pace and take various short cuts to meet the rest of the field at the checks. The Aiken Hounds keep American and Penn-Marydel foxhounds.
Belle Meade Hunt
Thomson and McDuffie Counties, GA.
Hunt attire: Scarlet, Confederate cavalry yellow collar. Evening: Same with red satin lapels.
Master of Foxhounds: Mr. Edgar S. Wilson, Mr. Charles W. Lewis, Dr. Gary Wilkes
Contact: Hon. Sec. Mrs. Angela Smith, 706.833.3104, email@example.com, www.bellemeadehounds.com. Hunt Office: 706-595-2525
Season: November – mid-March
Opening Meet: Saturday, November 7, 2015
Hunt Week: February 14-20
Hunt days: Wednesdays, Saturdays and some Sundays
The Belle Meade Hunt was established in 1966 and recognized by the MFHA in 1970. Belle Meade is a large, fast moving hunt that takes riders through the hills, fields and woodlands of northwestern Georgia. The hunts often have fields of 50 to 75 which are divided into four flights including two jumping and two non-jumping flights. Belle Meade boasts a well-attended opening meet with over 100 riders and 500 spectators. Belle Meade keeps English and Crossbred foxhounds.
Edisto River Hounds
Aiken County, SC. and the Fort Gordon Military Reservation, Augusta, GA.
Hunt attire: Scarlet, Carolina blue collar. Evening: scarlet tails with Carolina blue facings.
Master of Foxhounds: Mrs. D.K. Newell, Mr. Walter Cheatham, III.
Contact: Hon. Sec. Mrs. Elaine Fent, 803.270-9026, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Season: October – mid-March
Opening Meet & Blessing of the Hounds: November 21, 2015
Hunt days: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
The Edisto River Hounds was recognized by the MFHA in 1995. Suitable to all levels of horses and riders, the ERH features a family-friendly, newcomer-welcome atmosphere. The ERH has fixtures in Aiken County and Augusta, GA. and keeps American, Penn-Marydel and Crossbred foxhounds.
Whiskey Road Foxhounds
Aiken, Bamberg, Lexington, Saluda, Hampton and Allendale counties, SC.
Hunt attire: Scarlet with Aiken green velvet collar. Evening: Same with scarlet facings.
Master of Foxhounds: Mr. and Mrs. David and Lynn Smith, Ms. Barbara Nelson.
Contact: Hon. Sec. Ms. Cornelia Henderson, 561.309.6636, email@example.com, www.whiskeyroadfoxhounds.com
Season: October thru mid-March
Opening Meet: November 1, 2015
Hunt Week: Feb. 3-7, 2016
Hunt Ball: Feb. 5, 2016
Closing Hunt: March 27, 2016
Hunt days: Thursdays and Sundays
Established in 1976 and registered with the MFHA in 1977, the Whiskey Road Foxhounds is probably the largest foxhunting group in Aiken. The WRFH regularly hunt large tracts in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Lexington, Saluda and Hampton Counties. Best known for its February Hunt Week, which brings foxhunters to the area from all over the country and Canada, WRFH fields exceed 100 riders during the height of the season. Whiskey Road hunts English and Crossbred hounds.
Why Worry Hounds
Aiken, Edgefield, Allendale Counties, SC. and Burke County, GA.
Hunt attire: Casual: britches, boots or half chaps, polo shirts, ASTM approved headgear. Formal/Evening: Scarlet with Confederate grey collar with dark green piping.
Master of Foxhounds: Mr. and Mrs. George and Jeanie Kelly-Thomas
Contact: MFH Thomas 803.641.0471, firstname.lastname@example.org
Season: early-September – mid-March
Opening Meet: November 29
Hunt Days: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
Why Worry Hounds was founded in 1996 as a farmer’s pack, registered with the MFHA in 2000, and recognized in 2003. WWH fixtures provide excellent training for green horses and beginning foxhunters. Children are encouraged to hunt and fees are waived for those under 18 years of age. Acceptable hunting attire is more casual than other local hunts. Visiting hunters are welcomed provided they give one of the MFHs a call the day before the hunt. The WWH keeps Crossbred Hounds bred from some of the old Bywaters bloodlines with crossbreeds of English influence.
Important information for those who wish to participate in a live hunt in South Carolina and Georgia: you may think of this as a riding adventure, but the states of South Carolina and Georgia consider it to be hunting. If you wish to participate, you must obtain South Carolina and Georgia hunting licenses for small game. You can do this online at the Department of Natural Resources for South Carolina (www.dnr.sc.gov) and the Wildlife Resources division of the Georgia DNR (www.georgiawildlife.com).