The Moore County Hounds, renowned for their rich tradition and deep connection to the Southern Pines community, host an annual event that has become a cherished local tradition: "Hounds on the Ground" at the historic Weymouth House.
A Celebration of Heritage
Set against the backdrop of the Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, the Weymouth House serves as the perfect venue for this gathering. The event celebrates the heritage of foxhunting and the unique bond between the hounds, huntsmen, and the community.
The stars of the event are, of course, the hounds. The Moore County Hounds have a distinguished pack, known for their great scenting ability and booming voices. The current pack, started in 2007, is an American breed called Penn-Marydels. These hounds are celebrated for their intelligence, agility, and cooperative spirit.
During the event, the hounds are showcased in various demonstrations, allowing attendees to witness their training, discipline, and natural instincts. Huntsman Lincoln Sadler, who knows each hound intimately, leads the demonstrations, providing insights into the hounds' behavior and their roles in the hunt.
Activities and Exhibitions
"Hounds on the Ground" is more than just a display of the hounds' abilities. It's a family-friendly event filled with activities, exhibitions, and educational opportunities. Visitors can learn about the history of foxhunting, the training of the hounds, and the conservation efforts that go hand-in-hand with the sport.
Local artisans and vendors often participate, offering unique crafts, foxhunting memorabilia, and local delicacies. Guided tours of the Weymouth House and the surrounding nature preserve provide a glimpse into the historical and natural beauty of the area.
A Tribute to Tradition
The event serves as a tribute to the century-old tradition of foxhunting in Moore County. It honors the legacy of the founders, including novelist James Boyd, and the generations of huntsmen and masters who have continued the tradition.
The "Hounds on the Ground" event also emphasizes the Moore County Hounds' commitment to responsible hunting and conservation. It's an opportunity to educate the public about the ethical practices involved in foxhunting and the role of the hounds in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
The "Hounds on the Ground" event at Weymouth House is a celebration of community, heritage, and the timeless bond between humans and hounds. It's a day filled with joy, learning, and respect for tradition. Whether a seasoned foxhunter or a curious community member, all are welcome to join the Moore County Hounds in this annual celebration that captures the essence of Southern Pines' unique culture and history.