OVH November 14th, 2015 "Awarding of Colours"

December 15, 2015

"Awarding of Colours" with the Ottawa Valley Hunt

Masters of Foxhounds of the Ottawa Valley Hunt, Anne McKibbin and Peter Leach had a few announcements that included "Awarding of Colours" after a delicious "Closing Hunt Dinner", catered by Lone Star Ranch and Catering, hosted by  Wendy Doyle, George Chamberlain, Brian Evenchick, Gurtie Kenny. I was thrilled that this year the Ottawa Valley hunt awarded colours to a non-riding member that has contributed to the Ottawa Valley Hunt through her photography! YES, that is right, It was a great honour to receive this recognition for my contribution to the Ottawa Valley Hunt.  I have been photographing the OVH since 2012 and have been a Hunt Member for three years. I am a non-riding member, although I usually ride with the Road whip in his truck.  I was awarded colours for performing good service to the organization with my photography. 

"Colours may be awarded to individual members who do not ride but contribute to the OVH in significant and lasting ways.  This member has more than filled this criterion.  She has probably done more to put the OVH into the forefront of the North American Foxhunting community than anyone.  Her photographs of the OVH have been seen on the cover of Covertside, in articles in foxhunting magazines, in photographic competitions, and on her own and the OVH website.  As a result of her photographic excellence and dedication, the OVH has gone from being almost unknown internationally to one of the best known in North America.  It gives me great pleasure to award OVH colours to Heather Swan."  ~ Peter Leach

Thank you to the Joint Masters of Foxhounds of the Ottawa Valley Hunt, Anne McKibbin, Grtis McMullen and Peter Leach. I thank you. So thankful to have been given the opportunity to ride with our road whip, Dennis for the past four years! I will wear the OVH Colour with pride :)

Looking back, 2015 was a great year, although I really missed riding in the truck with Audrey Buckingham and hearing her stories of days gone by with the Ottawa Valley Hunt. I did have a chance to visit her recently with Kay, and brought her a collection of photographs from this past year. She enjoyed the visit and she looked great!

I love the Ottawa Valley Hunt! As a photographer, it gives me a chance to hone my skills, cultivate a style and vision but more importantly, gives me a chance to escape. For me, photography is a form of meditation, it is about being in the moment, being focused, having tunnel vision looking through the lens,  concentrating on the task at hand, waiting for the subject to present itself. Foxhunting is a great British tradition, it has a long history of being an upper-class pastime. I love that they keep the old hunt traditions alive. I have always loved the old Hunt pics by Hardy Heywood, I have several hanging on my walls along with Hunt paraphernalia throughout my home.  

There is nothing more thrilling than listening to the hounds and watching them follow the scent line laid by our drag layers. I love watching horses gallop across fields and I enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful countryside thanks to wonderful landowners!   I have met some amazing riders and horses and made new friends at the OVH. We all want to have the sense that we belong among people we know, and to be apart of something--it is nice to be a part of the Ottawa Valley Hunt.

The Ottawa Valley Hunt run a top-notch Spring and Fall Simulated fox hunting program with a world-class huntsman and well-trained pack of hounds.
The OVH practice humane “drag hunting”, where hounds and horses follow a laid scent. The focus is on camaraderie and making sure everyone has a great day out. The OVH supports every level and rider and is currently looking for new members.

Come and Try Out the Ottawa Valley Hunt!


for Ottawa's Premier Equestrian Gala, the 63rd Annual Ottawa Valley Hunt Ball Saturday April 2, 2016 

Photo credit: Janet Major

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