A Sporting Afternoon

Today was dreary, cloudy, and damp, ideal hunting weather. Unfortunately, with recent “wintry mix” followed by rain, and freezing/thawing cycles, riding conditions were far from ideal. It’s hard to find footing much more treacherous than a thin layer of greasy mud over frozen ground. But, with more slop predicted for the weekend, today looked like as good as it’s going to be for a while. So when my brother and I heard that hounds were going out, we knew we had to be there with them. So we knocked a little bit of the mud off the horses and loaded up.

It turned out to be another small-field day; the two of us and three intrepid women were the entire field, following a staff of three. It turned out to be a pretty good day, in spite of having trouble keeping up with hounds. We ended up in some of our old country that we haven’t hunted much in recent years.

After a pleasant hack back to the trailers, my brother said “They’re dry and blanketed, it’s still early, we have time for a beer at
Pure Gold.”
We frequently joke about stopping at this “gentlemen’s club” on the edge of our hunt country, but we never have ..before today.
Since we were in ratcatcher today, we didn’t need to worry about the rule against wearing hunt colors into a public brothel. So it seemed like the perfect time.

I was a little worried about what the valet parking attendants were going to do with my gooseneck rig. But apparently weekday afternoons are park-it-yourself; no valets were in sight. We had no trouble finding space in a side lot.

To their credit, the tuxedo-clad bouncers didn’t even blink at a pair of gentlemen in mud-spattered riding clothes. Even without hunt colors, the barely-clad dancer who came to our table guessed immediately which hunt we were with, after first jokingly asking if we’d been riding motorcycles. She claimed to have been an exercise rider, but politely declined our invitation to come out to the parking lot and meet our horses.

Somehow, it seems traditionally appropriate to cap off an afternoon of hunting with some good clean debauchery.
My brother claims this is the stuff that legends are made of; that people will be talking about this long after we’re gone.
But from the way the Pure Gold staff took it in stride, we wondered if maybe it’s even more of a tradition than we thought.

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