Updated: May 16
Mrs. Douglas Wise Stuart and Mrs. Iona Pillion founded the Junior North American Field Hunting Championship (JNAFHC) initiative in 2003, with Marion Chungo and Michelle Arnold joining in to help organize the ever-expanding program.
The original idea was to provide a way for Juniors (18 years and under) to enjoy foxhunting, develop their skills, and, in the long run, help assure the future of this wonderful sport. After all, today’s junior foxhunters will be tomorrow’s leaders in the ongoing effort to preserve our farmland and countryside.
The JNAFHC program entails organizing Qualifying Meets on regular hunting days to select the juniors who will move on to the Championship. This year there were 34 Qualifying Meets held across North America and for the first time, two Qualifying Meets held in Canada.
Toronto and North York Hunt and Lake of Two Mountains Hunt each organized Qualifying Meets with a combined total of eleven Juniors participating in the two meets.
The Hunt Qualifying Meets feature four divisions: The Jumping Field, with separate divisions for 13 and over and 12 and under, and the Hilltopper Division (no jumping) with separate divisions for 11 and Over and 10 and Under. Judges ride in the hunt field and observe the juniors. The judges are looking first and foremost for good foxhunting pairs of Horse or pony and rider. Other things that factor into the judges’assessment are: a clean, neat, and tidy horse or pony; a well-groomed rider; a safe rider; a rider who is having fun and enjoying foxhunting, and a rider who makes good hunting decisions
Toronto and North York Hunt’s Qualifying Meet hosted eight juniors representing five Ontario Hunts. We are pleased to confirm that all juniors qualified to continue on to the Championship Meet held at Old Whitewood Farm in The Plains Virginia Nov 9th, 2019. We had nine juniors from Canada make the trip south to compete joining a total of 103 riders at the Championships.
Laura Balding riding Ellie and Jaden Feairs riding Soleil ably represented Toronto and North York Hunt at the Championship Meet. If you came out to the Creemore Horse, Hound and Harvest parade this past Thanksgiving weekend, you would have seen both of these riders taking part in the parade.
Junior riders wishing to look into taking part in 2020 are encouraged to visit: www.jnafhc.com or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog Contributor: Janet Feairs