Old Chatham Hunter Pace
Looking to test your skills in open space with a bit of friendly competition and prizes? Hunter Paces are our most popular rides and a great opportunity to join 1-2 other MRC riders on a team matched to your level. All teams will ride through a marked course at the “ideal pace” for a chance to win ribbons and sometimes other prizes!
How it works: Each team lines up at the start and are released in 3-5 minute intervals with their start time being recorded. From there the team follows a trail marked by ribbons tied to trees. The general rule for riding at the ideal pace is to walk downhills, water crossings, deep mud and very rocky terrain, trot narrow and wooded trails, canter wider trails and gallop open fields. There are jumps along the way, each rider should line up with proper distance between horses and take the jumps 1 at a time. Some of the jumps have a photographer that will post photos of riders within the day following for purchase.
When teams reach the finish line their time is recorded again. Once all teams have completed the course, organizers tally up times and compare them to an internal “ideal time” they have set and teams that come closest are awarded ribbons. Many paces also provide a lunch and riders tailgate and enjoy a bit of socializing before heading home.
10:00AM Riders arrive and 1 member from each team collects numbers from check in
10:15AM Horses start to arrive, riders gather around horse trailers
10:20AM Riders listen as their horses are called to catch them coming off the trailer
10:45AM All riders mounted and ready to begin the course
12:30PM Riders should all be finishing and walking horses to cool them down before following instructions to help load them back into the trailers
1:30PM Loading should be complete and riders can join for tailgate or any post ride activities!
*Timing is subject to change and will be communicated
- Your horse
- A team to ride with
- Your entry fee and registration handled by MRC
The horses are trailered from our training facility in Pawling. There are a variety of breeds with different personalities, trained for open space riding, foxhunting, hunter paces and used in our lessons. From spirited thoroughbreds to quieter draft breeds.
The Old Chatham Hunt Club Inc. (OCHC), one of the oldest hunts in the nation, was organized in 1928 and is recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association and the National Beagle Club. Their goal is to cultivate and preserve a traditional country way of life in northern Columbia County. To foster an appreciation of the land, a love of nature and a deeply rooted respect for the cunning and beauty of the wild creatures that inhabit the countryside. It is a unique hunt club because it maintains packs of hounds as well as beagles.
Whether you’re a fox hunter, trail rider, eventer, pleasure rider or seasoned “pacer”, everyone is welcome enjoy the beautiful Hunt Country of Columbia County. The pace runs through some of the prettiest vistas around! The course offers a combination of rolling hills, wooden trails, farm land, picturesque barns, views of the Catskills Mountains, stream crossings and the opportunity to jump logs and coops. Rest assured all fences have go arounds and they offer quite a few baby logs for the newbies.
Level 3, 4 and 5. Click here for level descriptions. Required: 2023 Instructor approval through a Lesson or Evaluation Ride.
Hunter Paces are best suited for independent riders who enjoy cross country riding and jumping. Riders must also be confident riding without a guide, this is important as you will be riding with 1-2 other MRC riders on a team and each rider is required to be independent and confident to handle any situations that may arise. Riders must also be able to adjust their tack, mount independently and have a high level of awareness for the 50+ other horses and riders that will be present.
As teams are independent of a host on these rides, it is important that each rider knows when a horse is tired and needs a break, has sustained any injury or lost shoes and how to properly cool down after the ride.
If you are a higher level rider and would like to ride a more challenging horse, be sure to identify this in your MRC Rider Profile.
Jumping is optional, heights range from 2 - 3 feet.
2023 MRC Team Uniform- MRC Sun Shirt, tan or black breeches, clean boots, proper riding helmet, safety vest recommended. We will connect you to your team in advance so you can all coordinate your team uniform further if you want!
Experience the private Windy Hollow Hunt territory filled with lush green fields, well groomed wooded trails, water crossings and a variety of jumps! This territory in particular is full of some beautiful stone walls and with spring in bloom you will see an abundance of wild flowers and blossoming trees. Jumps may include stone walls, coops and natural obstacles up to 3', all have a go- around.
Old Chatham, NY
By Car: 120 miles northwest of Midtown.
Carpooling: Check out the MRC Carpooling Group to connect with other riders, we will also connect riders who have booked in the week leading up to the ride.
- The town of Hudson has many great restaurants and shops