94th Blessing of the Hounds service held in Keswick

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 4:56 PM EST
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KESWICK, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County tradition played out at Grace Episcopal Church early Thursday, November 24.

The Keswick-area church hosted the 94th Blessing of the Hounds service.

“It is an old tradition that dates back to the Colonial period of Virginia, and dates right back here,” Rector Miles Smith said.

The tradition has seen some changes over the years.

“It used to be something like varmint control back in the day, but now it’s a sport and foxes are rarely injured,” Smith said.

Thursday’s service began with people praying for the hounds and the horse riders. After the blessing, the hunt begins.

“Hounds will pick up the scent of a fox, and the fox will just run them all around the place, and then the horses follow,” the rector said. “It’s a great way to begin a Thanksgiving Day with friends and family and be outdoors for a little bit.”

Donations raised this year are going to Montanova Stables and Georgia’s House.

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