logo The Sedgefield Hunt

Background

The purpose of the Sedgefield Hunt is to provide and perpetuate this thrilling and historic sport and all the traditions which surround it.

The Articles of Incorporation of the Sedgefield Hunt, Inc. set forth the purposes of the Hunt:

  • To foster, promote, engage in and perpetuate the sport of riding to hounds, together with its traditions, customs and manners.
  • To encourage in young persons the respect and love of fox hunting, as a sport and as a tradition to be cherished.
  • To sponsor, promote and engage in horse shows, exhibits and fairs.
  • To acquire, maintain, train and breed horses and fox hounds, as well as to own and deal in equipment, furnishings, and any other property incident to the general purposes of the Corporation.
  • To buy, sell, lease and otherwise deal in real estate for hunting, showing or training or other corporate purposes.
  • To do any other act or thing permissible under the laws of North Carolina which will promote the purposes of the Corporation.

Early History
Established in 1927 by brothers Jim and Charlie Hendrix and Col. Frank Page, the Sedgefield Hunt is the third oldest hunt in North Carolina.  Although the Sedgefield Hunt was not officially recognized until 1941, the Hendrix family had enjoyed foxhunting since before the Civil War. 

Because foxes were uncommon in the area, Jim Hendrix imported fox weanlings from west of the Mississippi and kept them in the trunk of a giant oak tree in what is now Greensboro’s Irving Park West neighborhood.  He raised the fox cubs on dog food and chicken until they were old enough to capture their own prey.  Then, Hendrix turned the cubs loose to spend a year establishing their territories before they were hunted. 

Thus, Jim Hendrix was the first huntsman of the Sedgefield Hunt, and Col. Frank Page was its first master.  For the 1934-1935 season, the hunt employed its first professional huntsman, George Thomas.  Johnny Rochelle of High Point was the Sedgefield Hunt’s first formal Master of Foxhounds.


Territories

hunt

From 1939 to the 1950s, the Sedgefield Hunt hunted out of Sedgefield Stables and what is now the Sedgefield Show Grounds.  Development forced the hunt to search for new territories farther out of town.  Today, generous landowners have granted the Sedgefield Hunt permission to hunt on their land in Guilford, Rockingham and Caswell Counties in North Carolina, as well as in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.


Hounds

hound

At the hunt’s inception, the Sedgefield pack consisted of English foxhounds that Jim Hendrix assembled and trained himself.  The Sedgefield Hunt incorporated crossbred foxhounds into the pack until recently, when the hunt shifted to Penn Mary Del foxhounds.  Currently, Sedgefield hunts 22 ½ couple of primarily Penn Mary Del hounds.


Sedgefield Horse Show

In the midst of the Depression, the Sedgefield Hunt organized the first Sedgefield Horse Show to benefit the Guilford County Tuberculosis Sanitarium.  While the Sedgefield Horse Show has always focused on hunters and jumpers, before 1965 it also included classes for Walking Horses, Gaited Horses, Parade Horses and Harness Horses.  Today, the Sedgefield Horse Show is solely for hunter/jumpers and is one of only a few “A” rated shows in the Triad.


Blessing of the Hunt and Saint Hubert
It has been a practice for years in the Sedgefield Hunt to hold on opening meet the ceremony known as “The Blessing of the Hunt.”  The religious ceremony of the “Blessing of the Hunt” on or near St. Hubert’s Day, which is traditionally November 3rd, is a custom that has survived since early medieval times.  It had its origin in the superstitious belief that by this act, through the intercession of St. Hubert, the hounds would be protected from disease.

St. Hubert, the patron saint of the hunt or the chase, was born in the middle of the 7th century, a son of the Duke of Aquitaine.  His early life was given over entirely to pleasures and worldly vanities, and his chief passion was to hunt.  At the age of 27 or 28, on one Good Friday morning, when the faithful had all repaired to the Church to commemorate the Passion of their Lord, Hubert, in open defiance of pious custom, sallied forth to the chase.  As he was pursuing a stag (the story goes) the animal turned, and lo! between its antlers was a crucifix.  A voice was heard:  “Unless thou turnest to the Lord and leadest a holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell.”  Hubert renounced all his honors and rank, distributed his personal wealth to the poor, and entered the priesthood.  He later became the first Bishop of Liege and since his canonization, has been the patron saint of the hunt and the chase.

The “Blessing of the Hunt” ceremony includes the distribution of St. Hubert’s medals, so that “he who wears it may be preserved from all danger both to body and soul.”

St. Hubert’s medals may be awarded to any member during the “Blessing of the Hunt.”  If you wish to receive a medal on Opening Day, please send an email to sedgefieldhunt@gmail.com

 

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