Written by Heidi Hook and Tara StrickoEdited by Amanda McCoy
Shakerag Hounds is holding their 2021 Hunter Trials and Obstacle Trail Challenge on Saturday May 8th. Though a competition, the Hunter Trials should be viewed as a fun opportunity for horses and riders to test their abilities in a low-key and relaxed show environment. Hunter Trials are meant to showcase riding competence, camaraderie, horse-rider partnership, and skills useful for the sport of foxhunting.
Shakerag Hounds, Georgia’s oldest recognized Foxhunt, has historically held Hunter Trials annually and is back at it after a brief hiatus This event has been revamped to encourage all riders to compete, regardless of their hunting experience with the hope that participants have so much fun they want to try foxhunting next!
The day will be split into three separate divisions plus an Obstacle Trail Challenge. There are classes suitable for any level of horse and rider. The Pleasure Classes, which are all flat classes, will be judged on manner and performance, with an emphasis on general suitability as a hunt horse. All Pleasure Classes will take place in the field in front of the Shakerag Hounds Clubhouse. The Specialty Classes offer a wide variety of classes you most likely will not see in many other competitions. These classes include fun glimpses into foxhunting traditions and eccentricities. Finally, the Hunter Trials are more mainstream and comprised of the typical under saddle and over fences classes which will have both stadium and natural fences.
New for this year’s Hunter Trials is an Obstacle Trail Challenge! Riders will be judged on 10 obstacles encountered while riding through a marked Shakerag Hounds trail of approximately 2 miles. Riders should anticipate a leisurely pace taking one hour to complete the trail challenge loop. Obstacles will represent potential challenges someone could encounter while hunting. Western tack allowed. Riders are welcome to ride as a group but will be judged individually.
All entries must have an entry form, signed Shakerag Liability Release, and signed Covid-19 Release, along with a copy of a negative Coggins test. Parent or guardian must sign for minors. All forms are available on the Shakerag website. All paperwork is due to Heidi Hook firstname.lastname@example.org while payment must be made to Laurie Wilensky Venmo: @Laurie-Wilensky or PayPal: @LaurieWilenskyGA