Masters of Foxhounds:  Sally A. Stommen - Patricia Harris - Arlene Taylor

The scenario unwinds before the foxhunter's eyes and ears with the sound of the huntsman's hunting horn as hounds give chase. The fox or coyote maneuvers, circles, and runs through the country, cunningly evading the hounds. The music of hounds in "full cry" is laced with the sound of Huntsman's horn echoing off the woodlands and hills as they pursue the scent across plains or through woods, fields, creeks, marshes and over fences. The fox or coyote retires to its den to await another day of sport. Even slow days are fun as the scenery is always beautiful, fellow foxhunters are enjoyable, and watching the hounds as they attempt to find the scent is pleasurable.
​​Fox hunting is steeped in tradition. There are guidelines to follow with respect to attire and conduct while in the Hunt Field. Observing this proper approach makes fox hunting safe and more fun.  For an introduction to foxhunting traditions including rules for field members, proper attire, and foxhunting terminology please visit www.mfha.com or click on the Introduction to Foxhunting Guidbook button below.

Guests are welcome at Waterloo Hunt Club.  Guests may hunt 2 times per year by paying a $40 cap fee.  All guests need to confirm arrangements with a joint master.

Most new members join utilizing a Limited-C membership. This is a family membership that is more economical and allows unlimited hunting for (1) hunt season. It is a great way to experience hunting prior to committing to membership.

Waterloo Hunt Club

Huntsman: Joseph Cook

​​​​​​Membership Information



How do I find out about riding with Waterloo Hunt Club?























A social membership "D" is also available. This membership entitles you to attend meals after each hunt at our clubhouse and all social functions and use of the club grounds. Families that are not interested in riding usually select this type of membership.

Please call us with any questions concerning membership. Contact Arlene Taylor for further information about guest trail rides or a hunt at 517 522 3409.




So what is Foxhunting?

Foxhunting is the sport of mounted riders chasing the scent of wild quarry with a pack of foxhounds. The sport originated in England and has existed in North America since colonial days. However, through the years North American foxhunting has evolved its own distinct flavor, which is noticeably different from the British. The most obvious difference is that in North America the emphasis is on the chase, causing no harm to the fox or coyote.























For Waterloo Hunt Club membership information, newsletters and fixture cards, please contact Arlene Taylor at (517) 522-3409 or actaylor@umich.edu.

Potential members are invited to join Waterloo Hunt members for trail rides or to visit the Club as a guest.



Important Hunt Waiver Information

Adults- print off and sign the liability waiver. Note if you are married, your spouse needs to co-sign. Adults also sign a safety helmet acknowledgement.

Adults bringing their children  under 18 years old - Print and sign a liability waiver (signed by both parents), a safety helmet acknowledgement and a minors risk acknowledgement.


 










For a taste of what its like to foxhunt, the following was written by one of our members...




January Thaw

By Trish Gearhart

I look out of my window on a January Wednesday at the drizzle making puddles on the snow outside.  Not raining all that hard, I think and I pull my breeches out of my drawer.  I wonder what layers to wear as I look outside at the thermometer ---there isn’t much water dripping off it.  Hmm, 44 degrees.  Chilly, and just a little wet.  I decide on silk and pull a set of long underwear out of another drawer.  Let’s see ---a microfiber top with medium weight fleece over, and a polar fleece stock tie.  Smartwool socks, then I pull on my boots and look outside again---is it raining?  I grab my full length oil skin and head toward the car.  There is a thick layer of fog settled over my house, and I drive out of it as I go up the hill in my driveway.  Once on the road, I admit that I need to put my wipers on intermittent (it is raining just alittle), then I keep turning the wipers up and am forced to admit that it is really raining.  That’s what the coat is for, I guess.

 I get out to the barn at the kennels and smile to myself as I always do to hear the hounds are going crazy while our Huntsman, Joe is choosing who will go out.  Then I slip and almost land on my butt as I realize the entire drive is a layer of ice covered in water.  Whoa---at least the rain has let up some, I think, and I get Gund out of his stall.

 All tacked up and ready to go, I lead Gund across the drive to the mounting block and realize that, as he walks along and I hold the reins that I don’t have to move my feet at all---I am just sliding along.  Now I am getting very concerned about the footing, but I’m here and tacked and there is a stirrup cup today---and it has stopped raining.  I mount up and we carefully make our way to the clubhouse which is becoming shrouded in fog on a snow covered background.  There are horses and riders milling around through the mist and I greet my friends, getting caught up on the life that has happened to each of us in the 3 days since we hunted together last.  As we sip our sherry there is the usual discussion about what layers we are wearing, and second guessing as to whether we will be too warm or too cold.  Soon Joe and the whips bring the hounds over the hill to join us in the mist.  Our Field Masters Sally and Arlene make their announcements and we head out into the whiteness. 

 I consciously decide to ride in the back of the group today because the memory of the icy barn yard is sticking in my mind and I worry about my giant horse’s giant hooves on the ice and I think maybe I might need to cut out early.  Curiously, the road surface is not slippery as we hack to the first cast, and Gund is happy and giving his signature head tosses.  We trot along a dark ribbon of asphalt road beyond which we can barely see due to the thickening fog on the white snow, then enter some fields and make a first cast at The Underground House.  The hounds disperse at Joe’s signal and quickly disappear into the tall grass and mist.  Sounds are dampened by the snow and fog, and all we hear are the horse’s hooves crunching the icy snow and the hounds rustling as they move into the woods.  Joe is out of sight already but we keep track of him by ear as he calls to his hounds. “Where she, Where she” he calls out and it doesn’t sound as much like real words as it sounds like words ascribed to an owl’s song as he asks “who cooks for you?” or a robin as he greets you with a “cheeriup”.  Gund’s ears prick, and a second later I hear a hound opening off to our right.  Sally, who undoubtedly heard it before Gund, has stopped and is listening hard.  We move off at a trot, then a canter through the quiet woods. 

 The footing, it turns out, is fine, but I am ok with riding at the back because I know that Gund is throwing huge chunks of snow-caked black mud up behind him. The hounds have found the scent and all are chiming in, their voices mysterious and eerie in the foggy whiteness.  We gallop along the trail, trying to get to a point where the hounds may chase the quarry toward us and maybe get a view. Suddenly, Gund’s head comes up and he begins to gallop with his tail tucked and a hunch in his back—his ears are flipped backward.  I look behind us and see nothing, then kick him forward.  He is still bothered about something behind us.  I look back again and this time I can just make out Joe, his scarlet coat materializing through the mist.  For a second he appears to be floating as he raises his horn and then he gets close enough for me to see his light gray horse too.  I turn and open my mouth to yell “Staff!”, but his horn does the job for me.  Sally leads the field up a spur trail and we just make it out of the way for him to gallop past, his horse again barely visible between the trees in the fog. 

 We come to Wet Socks, and the creek is high with a thick ice rim at the edge.  Sally’s horse doesn’t think it sensible to break through and she calls for someone with a big horse to break the ice.  Ok, that would be me, so I prepare to ride hard to get Gund to go out in front, but he surprises me as he pricks his ears and charges forward, breaking through the ice in a grand style.  I chuckle as we plunge through the water to the other bank where I find a whip on her horse who we couldn’t see before but was just the right motivation for Gund.  As I wait for the rest of the field to cross and go ahead of me so I can take my place in line, I watch Grace on her little pony and wonder if they are swimming, the water is so high.  Grace is balancing on her seat and her legs are in the air, trying to keep dry as the pony lunges through the water. 

 We have lost the sound of the hounds now and gallop on for a bit, then hold hard and listen.  There it is!  The hound voice that is so beautiful and so eerie on a day like today.  And off we go to catch up with them.  We never get to view, but the chase is merry and just as we get back to the barn and are rubbing down our steaming horses, we can hear the rain on the roof as it starts again in earnest.  What a perfect time to go back to the clubhouse and sit by the fire in the company of friends.


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Trish Gearhart is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist who hunts with Waterloo Hunt.






For more information about Foxhunting please visit: