An unusually warm November Sunday morning marked my return to the hunting season in Mannheim, Friedrichsfeld. After a two year hiatus it was an exorcist that I needed for my horse and not ‘Gottesdienst’ and being the good Irish Catholic that I am, we managed to arrive suitably late for what I am sure was a lovely service! As usual, Rainer and his team had everything perfectly organised and Michael in my opinion, outdid himself this year with his selection of Canapés for all to eat!
What I noticed first off (perhaps as I wasn’t drinking as much as I normally do, and being a while out of the hunt scene) was the amount of younger riders present! By young, I mean they looked between 15 and 18 years old! Having met the lovely Caroline during the hunt I was told that they came from Mainz with 5 horses in a trailer to partake in Mannheim. My only quibble (and am definitely showing my age here), were that two of them had videos on their helmets. Somehow, it just did not sit right with me. Saying that, I got told off for smoking whilst sitting on my horse so what justifies hunt etiquette anymore? In all honesty, having been up most of the night with my son I was too damn lazy and exhausted to climb down from my 178cm horse, get my boots dirty and find someone to haul my 70kg bum back in the saddle! So apologies to those offended and next time I will offer my hip flask….. If I actually had one!!
Some 50 horses and riders assembled and the dogs came out running in full glory. Peter and Rainer led the 1st Field with Ralf making up the tail end. Petra, who led the 2nd field was in splendid form and perfectly vocal throughout the whole hunt!!
I, myself underestimated my horse’s fitness and growing confidence as a 7 yr old. I assumed since we had done the hunt a few times before we were in for a comfortable ride. I couldn’t have been more wrong and as an experienced hunter I was more than disappointed at our lack of control. I showed the youngsters how not to ride on a hunt! At one point, thinking it was a good idea to move up front only to move to the back again cost me a bottle of red! Anyways, after wrapping the reins around my hands I finally had control again and was able to enjoy the hunt and the jumps, riding in front of Ralf and hearing his words of encouragement, as at one point I was ready to quit! Motherhood has certainly changed me! There’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture!
From what I could tell, the equipage had the hounds well under control; difficult I suspect due to so many people with their dogs in the forest enjoying the good weather. The hounds were in top form as usual, quick as whippets and handled the 20 degree temperature well. It surely did not slow them down! The ground as always was excellent as well as the jumps, some of which were definitely not for an inexperienced rider.
After the break the 2nd field led by Petra followed the equipage and the pace kept up. A few more jumps, another long gallop stretch and we finished sweaty and grinning after another great ride in Friedrichsfeld. The Hounds demolished their well deserved reward, riders washed their horses down and we all enjoyed more good food and drinks from the kitchen.
All in all, a successful day! A Big thanks to Rainer and his team for the entire organisation and bring on next year!
Text: Pascale Schönhardt
Bilder: (c) Daniel Seise mehr Bilder
Veranstalter: RFV Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld e.V., Vorsitzender Michael Mühlbauer
Jagdherr: Rainer Forschner
Master: Gerd M. Klapschus
Schleppenleger: Dr.Stefan Gropp, Andrea Wiehn
Equipage: Charlotte Schmied-Kollmar, Katja Grimm, Jürgen Kammp
Feldführer: 1. Feld: Rainer Forschner
Reiter im Feld: 60 Reiter
Hunde: 9,5 Koppeln
Jagdstrecke: 18 km mit ca. 35 jagdgerechten Hindernissen
Wetter: sonnig, sehr warmes Herbstwetter
Bläser: Parforcehornbläser Baden unter der Leitung von Horst Minet
Fotograf: Daniel Seise