Blessing of the Hounds

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Blessing of the Hounds, Southern Pines, NC

Photo by Stacey Haines of Stacey Haines Photography

On Thanksgiving morning in Moore County, North Carolina, the grand tradition known as the Blessing of the Hounds has its opening meet — just as it has for nearly a century.  A tradition dating back to medieval times, the Episcopal priest begins his liturgy as horses and riders and hounds stand and listen:

"Bless oh, Lord, we beseech You, rider and horse and hound …"

As the "Amen" is said, the first whip bolts onto the field dragging a fox-scented drag.

There is no fox, but the scent is real to the hounds. A sharp blast from the brass horn and the hounds bound onto the track, speaking the language of the hunt. The hunt is on. Horse and rider … not far behind.

The Blessing of the Hounds Fox Hunt in Southern Pines, NC - photo by Stacey Haines

Photo by Stacey Haines of Stacey Haines Photography

The riders are splendidly dressed in scarlet jackets, tight-fitting breeches and hunt caps, an aristocratic tradition that looks splendid but also protects the rider from low-hanging limbs. Visiting riders wear the required black and navy.

Southern Pines, North Carolina, is horse country and every Thanksgiving day since 1914, riders and spectators join to celebrate the old traditon of the fox hunt. Hunt fever is everywhere – in the hounds, riders, horses and spectators.

A big "Thanks" goes to Stacey Haines for contributing the GREAT photographs you see here!  Be sure to visit her website at Stacey Haines Photography

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Event:    November 25, 2010 (Thanksgiving Day) at 10 a.m.
Recorded message:    (910) 692-6889
Moore County Hounds group on Facebook

GETTING THERE:

Hobby Field — 3116 Youngs Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387


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DISTANCES FROM:

69 miles south of Raleigh, NC
252 miles southwest of Norfolk, VA
133 miles northwest of Wilmington, NC
170 miles southwest of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, NC

WHERE TO STAY:

North Carolina Bed & Breakfast & Inns (NCBBI) members:

The Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, NC 
Gray's Landing in Windsor, NC

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