Come try hunting free of charge on a Wednesday or Saturday of your choice. 

Coaches and instructors are a vital stakeholder group for Ottawa Valley Hunt (OVH). We want to raise awareness of what riding to hounds is like in the local horse community and enable coaches and instructors to support their students during a hunt. Many coaches/instructors have fallen in love with riding to hounds and have become OVH members. 

Experience riding to hounds at your convenience

OVH is a drag hunt located in Ashton, Ontario. New in 2023, Ottawa Valley Hunt (OVH) invites local coaches and instructors* to ride as our guest free of charge on a Wednesday or Saturday of their choice** during our 2023 fall season which runs from August 23 to November 18.

  • * You don’t need to be certified to qualify as long as you regularly teach several students. All equestrian disciplines are welcome.
  • ** We typically don't accept guest riders for the opening (Sept. 16) and closing (Nov. 18) meets as well as during the hunt week (Oct. 20 and 22).

This professional development opportunity is designed to allow coaches and instructors to experience the hunt on their own, without worrying about their students. Additionally, it prepares coaches and instructors to bring students to hunt in the future. We will ensure that you have all necessary information and assign a member to ride with you in a group that suits you and your horse. 

  • Resources: Welcome to capping guide, hunt etiquette, dress code
  • Register with master Stacey Findlay (613-558-0178) by noon the day before your desired hunt day at the latest
  • Arrive at least 30 min ahead of the start time

We have several coaches and instructors who have become OVH members. Read some of their stories at the bottom of the page. Here are some of the key benefits riding to hounds offers for coaches and instructors:

  • Pamper yourself: Hunting offers a great opportunity for coaches/instructors to relax (or let loose) and enjoy riding with a likeminded group of horse people from various disciplines. It's not competitive, there is no judging. You even get a meal! If you have a partner or spouse, they can participate in your hobby by becoming a social member.
  • Expand your network: Make new friends or, if you are a freelance coach, find new students.
  • If you own school horses or train horses, hunting is a great experience and good variety for them. Most horses enjoy hunting and feel invigorated by it, not to mention hunting being good conditioning.

Bring your students

Hunting is a great way to broaden your students' horizons and to help build well-rounded equestrians. Especially junior riders gain a lot of confidence through hunting. As a coach or instructor, you can make the economics work for you - you can charge your students for horse use, trailering and coaching fees just as you would for a show.

Local coaches and instructors hunt free with one or more capping (guest rider) students. This is in recognition of the support and guidance that coaches and instructors provide to their students during a hunt. The cost for an adult capper is $100 (HST included) and $25 for juniors (U19). Each student can cap up to three times a year.

  • For more information and to register by noon the day before your desired hunt day at the latest, the coach/instructor as well as the students (parent for U19) needs to call master Stacey Findlay (613-558-0178). See Riding as a guest for more details.

If your students want to become members to hunt regularly, we will deduct their capping fees from their membership fees. Note that our membership is virtually free for juniors (U 19) and completely free for those qualifying for our junior program. The membership fees are also greatly reduced to our intermediate members (19 - 29) who may be in school or just starting their careers.

  • * Junior (U19) members must ride with a coach/instructor or another chaperone until cleared by a master to ride independently. The cost for a junior member chaperone is $25 (HST included).

Junior hunt Sept. 30

While capping normally costs $25 (HST included) per junior (U19), once a year we organize a special hunt for juniors. This hunt is free for juniors, and coaches/instructors ride free with them while other chaperones pay $25 (HST included). There will be a lunch following the hunt.

  • Resources: Welcome to capping guide, hunt etiquettedress code
  • For more information and to register by noon on Sept. 29 at the latest, each coach, adult chaperone and a parent or coach/instructor of a junior need to call master Stacey Findlay (613-558-0178).

Some of our coach and instructor members

Many coaches and instructors not only cap and bring students to hunts but become members themselves. Read about some of their experiences. Learn more about becoming an OVH member

Grits McMullen

"Hunting literally gave me my life. I lived, loved and worked because of the Ottawa Valley Hunt. MFH Earl and MFH June Lacharity brought me into the OVH hunt family in 1973. I had already been a member for two years, thanks to Colonel and Mrs. H.M. Millar, huge supporters of the hunt. Over 45 years, I coached hunt members, started hunt horses, and encouraged my students to join. Fortunate enough to wear many hats in the OVH, my favorite was one was eight years as master."

Grits with her beloved Raven at Sunset Farms

Grits and Bijou in the hunt field

Tracey Smith Jardine

"My family had been selling horses to various hunts for years. When Pinto Valley Ranch became a boarding stable, a boarder, also an OVH member, invited me to a fall hunt. The colours, the sights and sounds - hearing the hounds sing was spectacular. I decided to start taking jumping lessons and set trying the first field as my goal. The members were friendly and helpful. My husband, who said that I had a smile on my face the entire time, has also since become a member."

Tracey hacking at the family ranch.

Tracey and Gimli after a hunt.

Shannon Townsend

"I'm an EC-licensed English and Western competition coach. During the pandemic, I couldn’t participate in some of my regular riding and showing activities. I had participated in the hunt years ago, so decided to go 'capping’. I had a great time getting back into my English tack, meeting new people, and spending time in the open galloping! I also love how learning about hunting - its history and the development of hunt horses and riders - has added to my knowledge base." 

Shannon and Kelo at an extreme cowboy competition.

Shannon and Oreo hunting.