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Horse and Hound Wine Festival is Saturday

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Visitors are invited to bring their children and their dogs

By John Barnhart

    Johnson’s Orchards will present its annual Horse and Hound Wine Festival, Saturday.

    The Festival is kid-friendly and dog-friendly eventwith a Kiddie Koral and a dog play area. People visiting the Festival are invited to bring both their children and their dogs.
    The Festival includes three events that give the four-legged members of the family to show off their talent. Lure coursing lets the dogs show their speed and agility by pursuing a lure that is towed rapidly along a zig-zagging course. Dog varieties that were bred to chase do best at lure coursing, but there have been surprises in the past. One year, a basset hound put in a laudable performance. Bassets were bred for tracking and lure coursing is not some thing they are expected to do, but this one, with long ears flopping, kept up with the lure.
    There’s also a dog talent event and the muskrat race. The muskrat race does not involve muskrats. A lure is towed in a pond and dogs swim after it.
    The horse part of the Horse and Hound Wine Festival begins at noon with a patriotic opening. United States and Virginia state flags are presented by riders on horseback. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited and the Star Spangled Banner is sung.
    Later, the Festival features a horse show where various breeds are displayed, on at a time, with an announcer describing them. There are also horse demonstrations.
    The Horse and Hound Wine Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 105.5 KD Country will be there and a live band, Stone Canyon, will perform in the afternoon. Five wineries will be on hand and people can go to their booths to taste samples or buy wine by the glass, by the bottle or by the case. If you buy wine, you don’t necessarily have to carry it back to your car. Case purchases, or individual bottle purchases of at least three bottles, will be taken to a pavilion where you can pick it up on your way out.
    There will be a number of food and craft vendors on site, as well as Saddle Soar Equitainment, which will provide pony rides for children and horseback rides for adults.
    Part of the proceeds from the Festival will benefit Commonwealth Search and Rescue, a group that does searches from horseback, All-American Mutt Rescue and Brook Hill Farm, which operates a rehabilitation program for abused or neglected horses.