I arrived the afternoon before the big day and was met at the airport by Lucy Bell, a foxhunting attorney who, when she moved to Thomson, inserted a clause into her employment contract ensuring that she may hunt on Wednesdays. We pulled up to the farm just as a riding and jumping demonstration by four ladies for the benefit of the spruce Creek Flying Club had just ended, (Did I mention that 21 private planes of the Spruce Creek Flying Club landed at the McDuffie County Airport that day filled with guest for the Belle Meade festival?) As laid back and relaxed, as Epp Wilson appears to be, there is something of the Barnum and Bailey in him. While Epp was showing me around the farm, the young ladies that had just finished giving the Demo. Were cooling their horses in a field of Permanent schooling jumps. At some invisible single, two of the four girls peeled off, cantered toward us, jumped a big log fence abreast and halted in front of us “I’d like you to meet Mandy and Kim said Epp nonchalantly, As we completed our hellos, the two remaining girls hooked up at the canter jumped the same fence abreast and halted. This is Susannah and my daughter Wendi, Said Epp.

In the very next moment, a boy on a Pinto pony, energetically waving one arm over his head and using his voice as hunting horn, came galloping into view followed by six hound puppies. The small huntsman and his miniature pack disappeared from view only to appear again in a few minutes still in full cry— the boy, not the puppies. That’s my son Chase, Epp explained. ” He takes care of the hound puppies, exercises them every day and teaches them to follow”

Epps wife, Sharon, met me with a hug my first conventional greeting of the day.