The faux fox hunt by Deck 7, the girls horsemanship unit at Culver Upper Schools, featured a pretty large species to track Tuesday morning.
Summer Horsemanship Director Frank Stubblefield dressed as a fox – complete with facial makeup, a black morning coat, waistcoat, ascot, and a furry gray tail – for the girls to find. Add that he was on horseback and he was fairly easy to spot.
Culver’s Theatre Department Technical Director Marsha Coven did Stubblefield’s makeup and provided his costume for the finale of the Deck 7 overnight trail ride. Stubblefield took off first, riding ahead of the girls while staying in radio contact with the horsemanship instructors riding with them.
“We did circles through the Bird Sanctuary,” Stubblefield said. They cut one section of the trail out after he spotted a swarm of bees in a tree, one reason why he rode ahead. Everyone came through unharmed. The only casualties were a pair of glasses that, which got stepped on by a horse and Stubblefield’s cell phone.
“I’ll have to go back out and look for it,” he said as he opened his morning coat. “This thing doesn’t have any pockets.”
The girls spent the night in tents in the east pasture, then crossed Queen Road into the Bird Sanctuary to begin their trail ride. They finished in the field across from the outdoor corrals. The girls then took the horses back to the Vaughn Equestrian Center for a cooling bath and lunch before heading back to the pasture for their picnic.
Asked if they captured the elusive fox on the trail, Deck 7 unit commander Evanna Fuentes laughed. “Oh yeah,” she said, after lifting Stubblefield’s arm like a trophy. “We found him.”