Last year, I worked on a project about foxhunting in Virginia — something that was really new to me, culturally, as I had never seen anything like it in the Midwest. The season lasts from October until around March. I began my project last year sometime deeper into the winter, so I missed the opening hunt, which is also the "blessing of the hounds."
It's a tradition dating back to the 8th century, and is tied to St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters. A local clergyman comes out to the hunting stables, blesses the hounds, the land, the hunters and all the surrounding animals. Then, the hunters take a drink — wine was offered to the Middlebrook Hunt Club, though some also had grape juice.
I don't know how often I'll be able to make it out to the hunts this season, but it was nice to be there on a Saturday this year — I wasn't often able to see Middlebrook's formal attire, pink coats and all.