Montana Horses, Inc.

BSH Opening Weekend

BIG SKY HOUNDS OPENING MEET

BLESSING OF THE HOUNDS

HUNTER PACE/POKER RIDE

 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, October 14th & 15th
Participate in one or both days. 
Contact us by EMAIL, call (406) 285-3541, text (406) 579-4060, or see our Facebook event to let us know if you are coming!

SCHEDULE:

SATURDAY, October 14th  | BLESSING OF THE HOUNDS and OPENING MEET

9:30am --  Stirrup Cup
10:00am -- Blessing of the Hounds
Big Sky Hounds Opening Meet BSH Meet (Puppy Truck Follows)
Hunt Breakfast (POTLUCK, please bring your favorite dish to share)
Evening: "Out with the Old" BONFIRE and "In With the New" Facility Celebration (bring your favorite campfire treat and beverage)

Opening Weekend marks the beginning of our season, which lasts through April, meeting most Wednesdays and Sundays and holidays. We invite and encourage guests and newbies to experience FOXHUNTING MONTANA-STYLE. Come see our country, meet our hounds and staff, check out the new place, and enjoy.

Overnight camping, cabin rentals, and pens available.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th | HUNTER PACE/POKER RIDE

8am - Registration, Orientation, and Drawing for time slots at Un-Knotted Catering Tent near kennels (food and beverage available throughout the day)
9am - First team departs, with teams departing every 10 minutes.  "Field Hunter" Division followed by "Trail Rider" Division 

 

The SUNDAY HUNTER PACE is also Montana-Style, with a Poker Ride element and open to both Western Trail Riders and English Hunters and Jumpers. A hunter pace is a low-key competitive event derived from foxhunting. TEAMS of two to four riders follow an outdoor course laid out over terrain which is meant to simulate the riding conditions encountered during a foxhunt - that is, a mixture of gaits that a foxhunter here typically uses as a coyote's scent is found and followed by hounds through open country and along wooded and mountainous trails, as well as over the NEW HEADWATERS HOPS CROSS COUNTRY COURSE. The trail is 6 miles long, with varied topography including some steep hills and rocky terrain, as well as through the Cross Country Jump Course, which includes water elements.

It is up to each team to guess what the organizers of the pace have decided is an ideal time to complete the course and to adjust its progress accordingly. The ideal time is determined by sending out one or more test teams to ride the course before the event, though not a race, as swift as possible while still remaining safe and preserving the safety and health of the horse. On the day of the event, the team which completes the course in a time closest to the ideal is placed first. The Hunter Pace is divided into two divisions, with different ideal times - a "field hunter" division for those experienced in the hunt field who wish to take the course at a faster pace, and a "trail rider" division for those who wish to travel more slowly. Although jumps are found along the course, taking them is always optional for both divisions. Even though there is a competitive aspect to a hunter pace, most riders simply regard it as an enjoyable way to spend a day in the countryside with their mounts and congenial company. The placings are almost secondary. Entry fees will be held in a jackpot that will be awarded to the winning team in each division. Additionally, three check stations will be set up along the course, completing a 5 card poker hand and designed as a way to keep horses and riders from going too fast. A prize will be awarded to the best poker hand. A judged jump will also be available for those who wish to show off their skills, and a prize will be given to the best jumper.

Non-riding volunteers are always needed to help with registrations, with timings at the start and finish points, and at the riders' rest stops. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact us.

Food and Beverage will be available throughout Sunday, catered by Un-Knotted and located at the kennels – where Ride begins and ends.

Hunter Pace Entry Fee: $50 each horse/rider combo. Juniors (18 and under) $35. Half of all fees will be placed into the prize money pot for each division and awarded to the winning team. The remaining will benefit the feed and care of the Big Sky Hounds.

Saturday Capping fee: $75, Horse Lease: $125/day, Pens: $15/night, Overnight camping: $15/night per vehicle or dry camp - pottie and wash station provided, but no electricity/sewer/water hookups.

Cabins: $125/night, Glamping tents: $45/night

UPON ARRIVAL - EACH PARTICIPANT MUST COMPLETE AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK FORM, REGISTER, PAY FEES (CASH OR CHECK PLEASE!) WITH HUNT SECRETARY.  
  Contact us by EMAIL, call (406) 285-3541, text (406) 579-4060, or see our Facebook event to let us know if you are coming!