Mill Spring, NC - Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is proud to present the second annual Festival of the Hunt (November 15-19), featuring a week of fox hunting competition and fun, coinciding with the TIEC Field Hunter Championships on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18.
The Festival of the Hunt will begin on Wednesday November 15, and continue through Sunday November 19. The opportunities to fox hunt in the Carolina Foothills commence on Wednesday with the Tryon Hounds, and Thursday with the Green Creek Hounds. Hunts are open to any member of an MFHA recognized club, and who has obtained valid NC and SC hunting licenses. Riders qualified to compete in the Field Hunter Championships (from the MFHA Hark Forward Hunter Trial Series) have one capping fee with either local club included in their championship entry fee.
The Championships will begin Friday with semi-final rounds for those riders having qualified at regional Hark Forward Hunter Trials. Divisions include Handy Field Hunter (Amateur), Working Field Hunter (Professional) and Hilltoppers. Both Field Hunter divisions will ride in pairs the first day, over a course on the Derby Field at TIEC. Hilltoppers will ride as one or two groups based upon number of entries at the time of the event.
Saturday, November 18 will begin with an Appointments class open to any member of an MFHA recognized club. A presentation of hounds will follow the Appointments class and both Field Hunter divisions will follow huntsman and field master in mock hunts to determine finalists. A purse will be offered for each division, along with awards and ribbons through eighth place. Celebrity judges include European and Olympic Eventing Champion Lucinda Green as well as MFHA President Tony Leahy.
This year, a select group of well hunted Field Hunters will be offered for sale through private treaty, and will be shown under saddle during breaks in competition over the duration of the two-day Championships. The sales participants are being capped at 20, and horses will be shown on the Derby Field. Prospective horses must submit an entry fee payable to TIEC; and complete an entry form which includes vet evaluations, negative coggins and vaccination records, and stable on grounds at TIEC.
An array of activities and dining options will complement the Festival of the Hunt week, and the Evening Welcome Cocktail Reception for competitors, volunteers, judges, and hunt club members will be held at the Legends Club on Thursday, November 16. Saturday, November 18, will play host to a dinner at The Legends Club, following an unveiling of a painting by local artist Charles Harpt. A Sunday Brunch will conclude the week-long festivities, coinciding with a Mimosa Bar from 10am-2pm on Sunday, November 19.