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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

By the Way

Starting a foxhunting library? FHL's Bookstore has a wide selection of must reads.

 

Potpourri: Click a Thumbnail and see where it takes you

IMG 1396-puppies-bsm IMG 1400sm IMG 1405-puppies-drinkingsm

 

Ask the Experts

The Foxes of England

greyhound fox.nyplGreyhound Fox  /  Courtesy New York Public LibraryFoxhunting Life reader Janet Clarke asks, “I was told a long time ago that there are different types of foxes in the UK. Is this true?”

We consulted Nigel Peel, MFH and huntsman of the North Cotswold Foxhounds, and Martin Scott, ex-MFH of the Vale of the White Horse. Both men are highly regarded foxhound breeders and judges of foxhounds in England and serve as members of FHL’s Panel of Experts. Their answers were not only surprising, but it appears that the story may be yet unfolding.

Literature

Drop Your Hands

tom firrTom Firr, huntsman to the Quorn, nineteenth centuryTom Firr indulged in a very big bit
(Always in pictures he’s seen using it),
“Plenty of iron; you don’t need to use it.”
“Yes, Firr—quite right, but so many abuse it!”

A light-mouthed puller’s a difficult horse,
A short-cheeked bridle will suit him, of course;
A snaffle’s the bit for a horse that takes hold
(At least, it’s all right if the rider is bold).

The acme of bliss when you’re hunting the fox
Is riding a horse who will jump off his hocks;
While quite the worst feeling, and one to be banned,
Is a horse who will only jump off his fore-hand.

People

Photographer Douglas Lees Awarded S. Bryce Wing Trophy

 douglees.hitchenJanet Hitchen photoTwo-time Eclipse Award-winning photographer Douglas Lees was this year’s recipient of the S. Bryce Wing Trophy, awarded by the Maryland Hunt Cup Association to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to Maryland timber racing. Lees is a regular contributor to Foxhunting Life, and we congratulate him for his latest achievement.

With one foot in racing and one foot in foxhunting, Lees is a double threat. Each spring, during the point-to-point season, Lees sends us his brilliant racing photographs to enliven our coverage of the hunt races, and we publish his foxhunting images regularly. In fact, the cover photo of huntsman Spencer Allen and the Piedmont foxhounds for our just-published 2015 Foxhunting Life calendar was taken by Lees.

Norm Fine's Blog

Were Donor Millions Squandered in "Groundless" Lawsuit?

 nodh.klmDonors to animal rights organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) need to think hard about how their charitable dollars can best be spent to improve the welfare of animals. Recent events suggest that local animal welfare shelters might put those dollars to better use for animals than does the HSUS and their cohorts. Driven by the fanatical certainty of their ideology, HSUS and others risked ethical misconduct and wound up losing millions of dollars in a frivolous and groundless lawsuit.

HSUS vs. Circus
A lawsuit brought in 2000 by HSUS and other animal rights organizations against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus turned out to be so tainted that twenty-five million dollars have been paid by the plaintiffs to the circus owners in settlements. In 2012 the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) paid $9.3 million in a settlement for its part in the false claims made. As the lawsuit fell apart, other animal rights groups abandoned the action.

In May of this year, HSUS and others paid another $15.7 million in settlement fees as part of the same failed lawsuit, bluntly described by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia as “groundless and unreasonable from its inception.”

People

A Miracle of Love and Hope...And a Horse Named Logan

scout.joy smithScout and LoganOur dear friend Scout (Vicki) Valentine can breathe thanks to a miracle. The miracle that skilled surgeons, with God’s help, can take the working, useful lungs from a person who has left this life and place them in a person whose work on this earth is not done. The further miracle that the timing of the donor’s passing coincided with the hour of Scout’s greatest need.

Scout received her new lungs in the very early hours of June 8, 2013. The journey to that day began nearly two years earlier when Scout developed a nasty cough. It was diagnosed as pneumonia and treated as such. It seemingly was on its way to resolution until several months later when it became apparent there were some lingering symptoms.

Over the next several months diagnostic tests were run and Scout fluctuated between feeling normal and feeling just a bit off. The “off” didn’t stop her from being active. She continued to run several days a week and take riding lessons which she had begun in 2010. She had made her debut in the hunt field in early 2011 at a Red Rock Hounds joint meet in Santa Ynez and had become quite hooked on riding.

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