The weather was overcast but proved to provide beautiful hunting conditions, as Southern Eyre Hunt Club members made the journey up to ‘Pankala’, 20 kilometres north of Arno Bay.
Members arrived hoping for lush green hunting paddocks but were disheartened to see that fields were still just as dusty as the first hunt of the season, some riders implying the farmers might have to start rain dancing soon.
The 12 riders introduced themselves to the master, who offered a particular a welcome back to Barbie Clutterbuck who joined the followers upon her faithful steed, Jedda after a couple of years away from the sport.
Her daughter, Lucy Clutterbuck, also joined the followers on her sassy horse Bess, which gave her a few rodeo moments.
Kerrie Macksad also joined the field after 10 years away from riding. A trail ride was not good enough for her, jumping in a hunt field sounded much more entertaining.
Jess Holmes was a new face in the followers, on her gorgeous borrowed palomino Montana.
After all new faces were introduced, horses saddled, and riders mounted, master Tarnya Branson on King Bob blew the horn and signalled the start of the dusty run.
Tarnya rode with trusted partner Deb Henderson on her new mount Air Stryker and they proved a cruising pair as they stuck up the front and cleared every jump.
They were closely followed by the rowdy field masters, Emma Doudle on Eve and Isabella Blackshaw on Herbie.
The laughter and squeals coming from the two juniors could be heard from the car followers as well as master, who had to turn around on occasion to make sure that the girls were not falling off.
Behind the noise was Sheree Mills on faithful Appy who was not so reliable on the day, throwing in a couple of cheeky moves that had his rider unseated at an unexpected moment.
She was paired with Kerrie Macksad on Jerry to make sure she was going all right, but she needed little help as she flew over logs proving hunting is in your blood forever.
Alison Turnbull was present but could not ride her familiar mount Walt, and turned to the vehicles to follow instead.
Danya Stoetzer rode her amazing grey Telle. It is so great to see Danya jumping Telle over every jump without any signs of hesitation.
Hayley Norton also joined the field again on her fiery mount Roady which she got jumping over daunting fences.
Monique Pugsley also road in the field on Winona and got her jumping quite well, which is a credit to Monique as her pony can be stubborn at times.
Jess Holmes rode superbly throughout the hunt and stuck like glue to her horse through a few hairy moments.
Barbie Clutterbuck rode with great enthusiasm and she and Lucy, rode together most of the hunt. Lucy did well sticking to her horse who was determined to give her a hard time.
Stirrup Cup was welcomed with nibbles and refreshments after a nice canter on the beautiful sandy beach.
After re-mounting, all enjoyed a ride through the sandy hills and back into the bush filled terrain and riders soon became aware their horses would jump over the bushes rather than walk through them, which resulted in a few unplanned laughs.
Emma Doudle, Isabella Blackshaw, Deb Henderson and Tarnya Branson all jumped as Section Fours on the last stretch of the hunt.
The hunt run smoothly with extra entertainment from a couple of riders; one came off of her horse and was all well and good until she tried to remount.
As she was half way back onto her horse, the pony decided to give a demonstration of how mounted games work, and took off at flat gallop.
Most of the field were surprised the rider stuck to her saddle and praised her tenacity and grip.
After riders looked after their horses they enjoyed afternoon tea where the field sang happy birthday to the master.
The next hunt is on Saturday, July 14 at 2pm and will be held at ‘The River’, property of Andrew and Sheree Mills, located 30 kilometres north of Port Lincoln.
For more information visit the Facebook page at:www.facebook.com/SouthernEyreHuntClubInc/ or contact Stacey Leech on 0428656864.
By Emma Doudle