How do I find out about riding with Waterloo Hunt Club?
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. All guests need to confirm arrangements with a
The 1st time a guest hunts with WHC there is no
fee. One additional hunt is possible for a capping fee of $40.
Guests may hunt subsequent years 2 times each year by paying a cap
fee of $40.
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.
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
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
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.
For Waterloo Hunt Club membership information, newsletters and fixture cards,
please contact Arlene Taylor at (517) 522-3409 or
Potential members are invited to join Waterloo Hunt members for
trail rides or to visit the Club as a guest.
Important Hunt Waiver Information
print off and sign the liability waiver. Note if you are married,
your spouse needs to co-sign. Adults also sign a safety helmet
Adults bringing their children
years old- Print and sign a liability waiver (signed
by both parents), a safety helmet acknowledgement and a minors risk
Waterloo Hunt Club Liability Waiver
Minors Risk Acknowledgment
Safety Helmet Acknowledgment
For a taste of what its like to foxhunt, the following was written
by one of our members...
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 a
little), 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gearhart is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist working at Oakland
Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills,
She has been hunting her draft cross, Gund, for 6 years,
first with the Metamora Hunt, then with the Waterloo Hunt since
2002. She lives in Chelsea, MI
with her husband, Chris who also foxhunts, and their daughter,