Saturday night was the Annual Meeting for the Los Altos Hounds. My parents are the joint masters of the hunt and my sister and I are whipper-ins. I don't whip much anymore since I had kids but she does. Claire loves to ride and she was a big winner this year. She was the reserve champion junior rider based on points won at the seasons pace meets. That's the big, long ribbon. She also won the silver cup for the junior rider who came to the most hunts this past season. She has won that the past 2 years. Finally she was awarded her buttons. The awar of buttons is a hunt award that allow a rider to wear buttons engraved with the lunt logo their coat and vest. In our hunt this award is made to riders who ride competantly in the second field, in all of our differnt countries, help at all the fund raisers and come to most of the social events. Hunting is full of these odd traditions and awards. The most coveted award in hunting is to be awarded "colors". A female member with colors wears black coat with the colors of the hunt on the collar. She wears black boots and beige britches. A male member wears a scarlet red coat with the colors on the collar. He wears black boots with brown tops and white britches. A male member with colors also wear scarlet tails with white tie at the formal hunt events. Interestingly the difference is historical. A member with colors is someone who can be relied on in a problem, someone who can get off and open gates and so on. Traditionally, ladies rode side saddle. The could not get off their horse (or on) without aid. Hence, no red coat. Any any rate, colors is a riding award. A member has to be a member at least 3 years and ride and jump in the field consistently. Additionally, the Masters of Fox Hounds Association, our govering body, does not allow the award of colors to members under 16. Claire is 7 so she has a long wait for that. She has set her sights on winning the junior rider award. She has a new horse this season so watch out!