Save Buchan Field
By Ashley Van Camp | Diane McKay Photography
Growing up we always just called it “the hay field,” a beautiful rolling expanse of grass between the Moore County Hounds Kennels and Mile Away Lane but the sixty-acre meadow has a name, Buchan Field. Named for the Scottish family that farmed there for many years, it was purchased by Pappy and Ginny Moss to become a working part of their 300-acre Mile Away Farm. According to the diaries of Jackson Boyd, a founder of the Moore County Hounds, Buchan Field has surely been hunted on since the pack’s inception in 1914. One of his entries regarding the path taken by the hounds recorded in his hunting register from 1928 to 1932 reads, “Knollwood-Shaw House Pasture-Buchan.” Yet, given this rich history and the fact that the field is on the National Historic Registry, we are in danger of losing it for its original historic uses.
Mile Away Farm has been sold in parcels in the years since Ginny Moss’s death in 2006 and the last remaining lots are on the Buchan property. Lot 7, which is 12.24 acres, is one of the few large open fields left in Southern Pines. With all the recent development in our area, it is imperative that we have the foresight to preserve these green spaces.
By securing Buchan Field, equestrian activities could continue and the field would be available for trail riders, the Moore County Hounds, horse shows, polo, polo cross and other pursuits that require large, open land.
Buchan Field is the home of The Blessing of the Hounds, a Thanksgiving morning tradition in Moore County for over a hundred years. The town comes out to tailgate, participate in the blessing and then watch as the splendor of the chase begins as hounds, horses and riders in their finest hunting attire take off across the field in full cry.
This past winter I assisted with a schooling Jumper show to benefit Buchan Field that was organized by Cameron Sadler and Robert Costello. It was a casual, fun show that allowed riders to prepare for the spring season while it helped raise money and awareness for the field. It was very well attended and enjoyed so we hope to be able to run the show again in the fall.
Most recently, Polo in SoPines made its premiere on Buchan Field. Also a fundraiser for the field, Polo in SoPines was a great day of sport with folks tailgating, participating in hat contests, watching polo and enjoying the beauty of Buchan.
While many of the uses for Buchan are equestrian related, there is another important reason for allowing the field to remain an open space. Many species of birds and wildlife use Buchan for their habitat.
An organization has been formed to save open land in the Southern Pines area. Preserve the Sandhills, a 501c3, has taken on Buchan Field as its first project and hopes to raise enough money to purchase the field and place a conservation easement on it so that it will never be developed. Buchan Field will then be donated to The Walthour Moss Foundation for perpetual equestrian use. The appraised value of the field is $450,000 of which a little over $300,000 has been raised thus far.
Buchan Field is so much more than just a “hay field.” It’s a field of history, a field of traditions and a field of dreams. If you would like to donate or learn more, please call Cameron Sadler at 910.684.0970 or David Thornton at 910.528.1805.