Twenty-fourteen was a year of change for the Old Chatham foxhunting community: we had a new huntsman, Tommy Hopkins, a new master, Jeff Murdock, several new whippers-in and 8 new members.  We also had 47 people from several different countries including Brazil, New Zealand, Argentina, Ireland, and Wales join us as guests.  Roading began in May as an excellent way for horses, hounds, and humans to get in shape and get used to one another.  On Saturdays we held tailgate picnics after meets and lavish hunt breakfasts during the formal season were held in members’ homes.  In addition to fox hunting, the Club held 2 hunter paces, an intro to fox hunting clinic, 6 community trail rides, and a 3 phase schooling show.  Attendance for all events were greatly increased over the previous year.

August brought the start of the Autumn hunting season quickly followed by the formal season in October.  Hunts lasted between 2 and 4 hours and often included views of up to four mountain ranges along the way: Taconics, Catskills, Berkshires, and Heldebergs.  Coyotes were the most common quarry and many deer, turkeys, and hawks were viewed as well.  The club was tested mid-season when our huntsman was temporarily sidelined due to injury.  Club members stepped up and MFH Jeff Murdock and Whipper-In and Kennelman Stephanie Lee became temporary huntsman.  The club’s efforts even captured the attention of nationally known fox hunting expert and blogger Norman Fine in a piece he wrote, “Old Chatham Rising.”  It was a fantastic year with many new friendships made and skills learned.