Music of the hounds

Published 12:41 pm Monday, October 27, 2008

Holmberg has been the Tryon Hounds Master for two years now, following in his father&squo;s footsteps.

He took the position back in 2006 and his main objective is to find more land for Tryon Hounds to hunt on. More land on which riders can fly across fields, splash across rivers and listen to the song of the hounds.

&dquo;My goal is to take existing hunt country and expand it and find new hunt country,&dquo; he said.

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So far, he&squo;s been successful in that goal. Holmberg has worked with groups like the Collinsville Equestrian Trail Association, the Foothills Equestrian Trails Association and the Gowensville Equestrain Trails Association. With the dissolution of the Greenville Hounds, the Tryon Hounds have the run of Gowensville.

The Tryon Hounds is one of the oldest organizations in the country. Founded in 1926, Carter Brown turned it into a major club through the 20s and 30s.

Brown owned Pinecrest Inn and would bring friends down from Michigan. Visitors would bring their own horses and hunt the entire winter. Although today the kennels rest on acreage on Little Mountain Road, the original Tryon Hounds kennels were at Pinecrest Inn.

Holmberg&39;s family moved to the area in 1969, and his dad, C.W., became the organization&squo;s master in 1970.

&dquo;(My dad) wanted to go where the weather was good,&dquo; he said. &dquo;He loved the countryside and the people of Tryon.&dquo;

Kerry developed that same love. His father&squo;s mission was to stabilize the club so that it would always be there. He bought land on Little Mountain Road where the kennels and the clubhouse now rest. The elder Holmberg also turned Tryon Hounds into a corporation. Now members pay dues.

&dquo;He wanted to set this up in perpetuity so it would keep going, and it has,&dquo; Holmberg said.

The clubhouse is a quaint building with a deck where members can sit and eat breakfast and a den with a fireplace.

Currently the kennel has around 50 hounds. The club hunts from September 1 through mid-March every Wednesday and Saturday, weather permitting.

Also on the property is the club&squo;s huntsman. Jordan Hicks, 23, is the lead huntsman for the Tryon Hounds.

One major thing that Hicks and Holmberg agree on is that hunters are conservationists.

&dquo;That&squo;s one of our biggest things,&dquo; Hicks said.

&dquo;Foxhunters are people that love open space and want to keep the early American heritage alive,&dquo; Holmberg said.

But the true love of almost every hunter, he said, is the love of the music.

&dquo;The music, that&squo;s what I love,&dquo; he said. &dquo;When all the hounds are open together, the music is beautiful.&dquo;

There is also some pride for Holmberg, following in his dad&squo;s footsteps. Holmberg is one of only a few second generation masters in 168 clubs around the country.

&dquo;It&squo;s a tremendous sense of pride,&dquo; he said.