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Sunday, October 2, 2016
11:30 AM Stirrup Cup
12:00 PM Blessing at Woodland, 88 Brinker Road, Barrington Hills, IL
12:30 PM Fox River Valley Hounds Move Off (Mounted)
2:30 PM Spring Creek Basset Hounds (On Foot)
3:00 PM-5:30 PM Pig Roast Picnic
Dinner and Drinks
$40 Per Person / $20 Children (Under 12)
Reservations a must for the Dinner!
RSVP by September 30th with check to FRVH to:
23845 N. High Ridge Drive
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
847-942-4556 or Email: email@example.com
Non Members: FRVH Capping Fee $100.00
The Blessing of the Hounds is a ceremony that has its roots in a centuries-old tradition which harks back to St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters. It's his medal that our riders receive on Blessing Day as part of the ceremony. Hubert, the first bishop of Liege, is reputed to be the originator of the Blessing sometime between 656 and 727 A. D., near Brussels, Belgium. On Good Friday morning, as the story goes, Hubert went hunting and suddenly came upon a huge and impressive stag in the forest. When Hubert finally cornered the stag, it turned and he saw a vision of a shining cross caught between its antlers. He immediately converted to Christianity and set out for a life dedicated to God. Hubert became the patron saint of hunters (along with mathematicians, archers and metalworkers).
Since that time, hunters have celebrated the Feast of St. Hubert, first with The Blessing of the Hounds and then with a hunt, followed by a large breakfast. Over the next twelve centuries, the hunt passed on to England where the nobles (royalty) hunted the stags and the gentry (aristocrats) hunted the fox. Fox hunting was supported by the Anglican clergy as “an antidote for the aggressive sins of the flesh.”
The annual Blessing of the Hounds will mark the transition from summer's informal part of the hunt season (generally known as cubhunting) to the formal months that run from October onward. After the foxhunters, their horses and hounds, and even the foxes have been blessed, the hunt begins. All who attend The Blessing of the Hounds are welcome to follow across the road for a glimpse of this fascinating tradition.
Photos by Kelcey Roberts and Members & Supporters