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Hobcaw Barony: Hoofbeats echo with history of Baruch property

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Whether chasing down truant school children or leading a fox hunting party, Belle Baruch loved riding the grounds at Hobcaw Barony.

Hoofbeats were heard again Saturday along the wooded trails as horses and riders were invited to Hobcaw’s second annual hunter pace equestrian competition.

“The ride was a chance to have horses back on the property, a chance to recapture a little bit of Belle Baruch’s spirit,” said George Chastain, executive director of the Belle W. Baruch Foundation. “Seeing horses jumping on the property again is an exciting thing for all of us at Hobcaw Barony.”

Belle Baruch with her horse Souriant was an international champion before World War II forced her to come home from Europe to Bellefield, where most of her pleasure riding was done during fox hunts and parties with friends. Souriant lived the life of a retired celebrity, cared for by his trainer, Jean Darthez. His medallions remain on display at the Bellefield stable, a long row of engraved silver. His nameplate is on his stall, the same as it was years ago.

“It was beautiful out there,” said Sandy Vine, trainer at the Wachesaw Equestrian Center. “The jumps were nice because they were not too big. We brought nine horses, and a lot of them had never ridden out before. This was really a nice experience to be out of the arena.”

Vine, whose team won the First Flight, said Saturday’s rain had barely started to sprinkle as they were finishing the course. Erica Cook, another Wachesaw instructor, said the course was set up well on a beautiful reservation. It was her first visit to Hobcaw. “The trails are very well kept, and they did a good job putting jumps where you could see them,” she said. “It was comfortable for people who didn’t want to jump. There was room to go around.”

Vine and two students, Madeline Canipe and Mary Drosieko, took first place in the longer First Flight ride with a time of 2 hours and 16 minutes. They edged second-place finishers Tyler Graham and Caroline Howard, who finished in 2:17 and third-place finishers Mary Dixon and Lynn Evans, who finished in 2:28.

Finishing first on the short course was another team from Wachesaw, Vicky Clark, Haley Barker and Samantha Coble in a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes. They beat second-place finishers Natalie and Sydney Kimball, whose time was 1:37, and third-place finishers from Premiere Riding Stables, Pam Sheaf and Dave Robinson, whose time was 1:44.

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