Weymouth Celebrates 30 Years
The sun was just beginning to reach the top of the pine trees at the historic Weymouth Center last Saturday morning.
That’s when the Moore County Driving Club and the Moore County Hounds gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Before the Moore County Hounds arrived, carriages driven by members of the Moore County Driving Club entered the front driveway of the Weymouth Center, parading past the Boyd house.
The front section of the Boyd house was added in 1920 by James and Katharine Boyd. The original house was built in 1895 by James Boyd’s grandfather.
There is a traditional link between carriage driving and foxhunting. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, tandem carriage drivers — two horses — lined up one behind another, with a saddle on the lead horse for the drive to the foxhunting meet.
In a tandem, the lead horse is “out of draft,” and the wheeler or rear horse does most of the work pulling the carriage, leaving the lead horse rested for foxhunting.
Once at the meet, the lead horse would be unhooked from the carriage, and the whip, or driver, would then foxhunt that horse. The wheeler would remain hooked to the carriage with a groom, who would await the end of the hunt. Then the leader would be put back in harness for the drive home.
It was a historical moment when the foxhounds were paraded by the front of the Boyd house to the back lawn, where the hounds paused under the guidance of Whipper-in Kerrie Hayes, who was substituting as huntsman for her father, Jody Murtagh.
The last time a pack of foxhounds met at Weymouth was in the 1970s.
The hounds were then led into Weymouth Woods, where the “field” was given the signal for the hunt to begin with a call of, “Hounds please,” by Lincoln Sadler.
The Moore County Hounds’ next appearance will be at their 78th Hunter Trials Saturday at approximately noon.
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