Sunday, September 25, 2016

UNIONVILLE: Horses, hounds and hospitality

What a beautiful fall day it was for the annual Cheshire Hunt Conservancy open house on Sunday. New huntsman Barry Magner and first whip Mary Taylor Miller took us on a tour of the kennels. We especially enjoyed seeing the puppies and were impressed by how the hounds quieted down as  soon as Barry approached them (although Edna required a bit of extra encouragement!). Barn manager Kelley Merette and one of the Hunt Masters, Sanna Neilson, showed us around the spotless stables, where the staff horses live. Both of them expertly fielded questions from the guests.
After the tours we enjoyed a terrific meal of pork and lamb, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw (we found the other Hunt Master, Anne Moran, busy dishing out the roasted pork). For dessert, the folks in the pink Punk'd Pineapple mobile ice-cream truck dished up flavors like coffee fudge almond and fudge brownie.
We saw lots of friends and neighbors and were amused by the name tags: guests were classified based what day the hunt visits their territory. We were "Saturday Country" and "Friend of Saturday Country."
As we walked to our car at the end of the event, we saw a circle of youngsters playing a game of catch in the field in front of the Kennels. The sun was sinking, and they were all glowing in the backlight: a lovely, happy end-of-summer sight.

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