More than 50 riders from the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds traveled Saturday from Pleasant Prospect Farm through the surrounding woods and parkland to nearby Sharp's at Waterford Farm, off Jennings Chapel Road in western Howard.

It was a bad day for the hounds because dry conditions made it difficult for them to pick up a scent from the fox.

The ride helped cap the county's 16-day annual Farm-City Celebration. Children had a chance to make a scarecrow at Waterford Farm, pick pumpkins and watch the riders return to the barn at Waterford. Children's activities will continue there on weekends this month.

Fox chasing in Howard can be traced to the late 1880s, when sportsmen bred their own hounds. The club represents the merger of the Howard County Hounds and the Iron Bridge Hounds, which were founded in the 1930s. The two merged in 1985 and located their kennels in Glenelg. In 1997, the club moved to Mount Airy, where it built a clubhouse and kennel.

Tyler Ladd, 3, above, pets a cow at Sharp's at Waterford Farm, which includes a petting zoo with goats that children can feed. At right, Allen Forney of Mount Airy prepares the hounds before the annual Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds fox chase. More than 50 riders participated Saturday.Miniature pumpkins at the farm store, which also sells Indian corn, gourds and other symbols of fall.Above, riders arrive at Sharp's at Waterford Farm after traveling through the woods and parkland for nearly three hours. The ride began at Pleasant Prospect Farm. At left, Ken Keys of Bethesda wrestles with his children -- Kenny, 2, and Samantha, 4 -- at the farm while waiting for the riders to return from the fox chase.