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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

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Norm Fine's Blog

Watch Your Language, Bud!

NormanReaders of our e-magazine FHL WEEK have perhaps been puzzled by the stilted avoidance of common everyday words that might be considered offensive in a different context. In a recent book review, we camouflaged the word, “s-e-x,” by replacing the middle letter with a hyphen. In recent hound show reports, we used the word “female” instead of the b-word.

While it grieves me to avoid the use of natural language, I do it to reduce the chance of having our e-magazines labeled as spam by any one of the many spam filters that stand between Foxhunting Life and its readers. Thanks to the glut of junk email that bombards us daily, responsible mass-mailers must take unusual steps to ensure delivery of their email to all recipients.

Foxhunting Life uses iContact, a highly responsible mass mailer, to manage our distribution list and to mail FHL WEEK to the more than four thousand foxhunting enthusiasts who have registered to receive it. When we send our e-magazine to iContact  for distribution, if our text contains anything that their algorithms determine could be considered spam, they notify us, and we make the necessary changes. So, if we sound silly sometimes, that’s at least one of the reasons why.

Posted July 22, 2014

 

Literature

Goodall's Practice: A Huntsman's Guide

goodalls practiceThe highest praise that can be given to a huntsman is for a fool to say, ‘We had a great run and killed our fox; as for the huntsman, he might have been in bed!”   –Lord Henry Bentinck

This week we look at another legendary huntsman of the past, William Goodall, huntsman in the nineteenth century to the Duke of Rutland’s Belvoir foxhounds (UK).
Goodall’s methods greatly impressed Lord Henry Bentinck, one of the leading MFHs of the day. Captain Simon Clarke, MFH of the New Forest foxhounds (UK) tells us that Lord Henry hunted three horses a day, kept copious notes, compared the best of England’s huntsmen, and thought William Goodall to be the premier huntsman in England.

When in 1864 Lord Henry sold his famous hound pack, he wrote a letter to the purchaser, Mr. Henry Chaplin, describing William Goodall’s hunting methods. The information in the letter so impressed Mr. Chaplin that, some years after Lord Henry’s death, he had it published under the title, The Late Lord Henry Bentinck on Foxhounds: Goodall’s Practice.

"Goodall’s Practice,” says Captain Clarke, “is the best treatise on hunting hounds ever written.” The revered Master and hound breeder Isaac “Ikey” Bell, the single individual most responsible for the modern English foxhound, is said to have had Goodall’s Practice painted on the ceiling over his bathtub. If you watch while hunting this season, you may see and recognize some of these same practices being used by your own huntsman. Here’s an extract.

People

The Hardaway-Morgan-Bell Connection

Captain Tom Morgan presents the South Tyrone Foxhounds Hon Whip Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty winner of the Isaac Bell TrophyCaptain Tom Morgan (seated) presents the Isaac Bell Perpetual Challenge Cup to South Tyrone Foxhounds Honoray Whipper-In Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty, winning un-entered female hound, at the National Irish Masters of Foxhounds Show. / Noel Mullins photo

The above photograph caught my eye because of the man in the wheelchair, Captain Tom Morgan. The photo is one of several sent by photo/journalist and author Noel Mullins, a regular contributor to Foxhunting Life, reporting on the National Irish Masters of Foxhound Show held on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Captain Morgan, now in his mid-nineties, is one of the few people still alive who intimately knew and worked closely in his hound breeding program with the late Isaac “Ikey” Bell, father of the modern English foxhound. The only other living individual I know who knew and benefitted from his relationship with Ikey Bell is Ben Hardaway, also in his mid-nineties.

If it weren’t for Ikey Bell and Tom Morgan, Ben Hardaway would not have his Hardaway Crossbred as we know it today. And if it weren’t for Bell, we wouldn’t have the modern English foxhound as we know it today.

Strictly Fun

2015 Unveiled!

calendar2015

Here’s our Foxhunting Life 2015 Calendar, featuring all new photos and ready to ship on September 1. We’ve been publishing our appointments calendar since 1998, and our annual collection of foxhunting images continues to represent the finest examples of the sporting photographer’s art.

It’s a joyful task each year to choose the cover photo. This year's cover is Douglas Lees’s composition of Piedmont huntsman Spencer Allen, expectantly drawing a rough patch of woods, horn at the ready, watching a couple of his hard working hounds pick their way in search of the fox. His horse, knowing the job at hand, is watching hounds as well. The drab winter woods, fallen stump, dead oak leaves, and bare limbs through which we see the figures are lit by a single splash of scarlet and flashes of white in the huntsman’s stocktie and britch, the bay hunter's blaze, and the hounds. A beautiful photograph telling a timeless story.

As before, photos of the hound show grand champions that you’ve been reading about in FHL throughout the hound show season are to be found inside the back cover.

Foxhunting Life Calendars will keep track of your busy schedule while they brighten up your tack room and kitchen. And they make great gifts for your cocktail party hosts and for landowners in your hunting country.

Be sure to login before ordering to receive your automatic subscriber's discount!

Click to order yours today.

 

Literature

Autumn Morn: Ode to a Huntsman

michael powerHuntsman Michael Power / Douglas Lees photoAlthough this poem was written in tribute to a huntsman in his prime, it is especially poignant because it seems to prophesy his tragic end.

Fay Bohlayer, ex-MFH of the Shakerag Hounds (GA), wrote the poem in 1981 for huntsman Michael Power on the occasion of his move from Shakerag to the Warrenton Hunt (VA). Ten years later, Bolayer’s poem was read at Power’s memorial service after he suffered a fatal accident in the hunting field. It could as well have been written for that sad occasion.

Power was a keen, hardworking, talented huntsman, and he showed exceptional sport at Warrenton. I watched one day as he had someone throw a coat over a barbed wire fence, which he then jumped to stay with hounds.

Once Bohlayer asked him which he thought was more fun: hunting or racing. Power replied, “Whichever I happen to be doing at the time.” She recalls one day behind Power when hounds were running, and to stay with them Power galloped without pause straight toward an iron gate, which he jumped. Bohlayer chose not to follow Power’s line, and after the run she came up and apologized for going around. “Not at all,” he piped in his Irish tenor. “It’s your sport, but it’s my living. I must go.”

Here’s Fay Bohlayer’s tribute to Michael Power:

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