"THE HUNT", The Monmouth County HUnt Race Meet
The Monmouth County Hunt Race Meet, started in 1932, drew thousands of viewers to former MCH Master Amory L Haskell’s Red Bank estate. The event was started by Mr. Haskell as an annual thank you to the local farmers and their families over whose lands the members of the Monmouth County Hunt rode while following the hounds. In the early years, the day started with a lunch on the grounds, served by members of the Monmouth County Hunt followed by a race for horses owned and used by the farmers, as well as some steeplechase races and races over post and rail fences, such as one would find while hunting.
The Monmouth County Hunt Race Meet continued each year, except for a hiatus between 1942 and 1944 during World War II, when gas rationing made it difficult for people to travel to such outings.
In the 1950s it was decided to change the day into a way to raise money for local charities. The Monmouth County Hunt Racing Association was formed to run the event and the races were written and sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. Monmouth County Hunt staff rode as outriders on the course, while many of the members volunteered their time in the food tents.
As time passed the day became not only more popular and a big raiser of charitable funds, its name morphed into “The Hunt.” People reserved the same tailgating spots year after year, crowds swelled and weddings were planned so as not to conflict with “The Hunt” weekend.
After Mr. Haskell’s death in 1966, and local farms began to be replaced by new homes, the Masters of the Monmouth County Hunt made the decision to move the kennels to Upper Freehold where there was more farmland available for riding.
1996 was the final year of ”The Hunt”, and many were sorry to see it end. “The Hunt” is still spoken of with great fondness by the many generations of spectators, volunteers, riders and other attendees.
Founded in 1885, the Monmouth County Hunt is still very active today. To learn more about the Monmouth County Hunt, foxhunting and social activies please refer to our website, www.monmouthcountyhunt.com. MCH offers Corporate Membership with excellent advertising opportunities, and several membership levels for riders and social participants.
If you have Monmouth County Hunt Race Meet photos you would like to submit, please email us, and make sure to include the approximate year in your email.
To become a Supporter of the Monmouth County Hunt, please see our Supporting Membership Page.
To be added to the Monmouth County Hunt’s email blast, please fill in the form on our Contact Page.