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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

By the Way

If you have downloaded our hunting horn ringtones for your cell phone, be sure to turn the phone to vibrate while hunting! Your Field Master won’t be amused if you forget!

 

Potpourri: Click a Thumbnail and see where it takes you

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Norm Fine's Blog

Hunting Horn Ringtones on your iPhone!

JohnT Huntsman John TabachkaWe finally worked it out: how to download our horn call ringtones to an iPhone! So many people have asked, and here’s how. But first, a story.

I tried to phone Steve Price, a member of Foxhunting Life’s Panel of Experts, but he was out. I left a message asking him to return the call on my cell phone. When his call came, I happened to be in the stall with my retired hunter, Guitar. Upon hearing the ringtone, "Gone Away," old Guitar pricked his ears and took a couple of lively turns around the stall! I laughed and explained the scene to Steve.

“You should have given the phone to Guitar and told him, ‘It’s for you,’” said Steve.

FHL's ringtones are the brilliant horn work of John Tabachka, huntsman, Sewickley Hunt (PA), a two-time winner of the National Horn Blowing Contest at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg. (Click to view FHL's popular video, Calls on the Horn, in which John explains the meaning and usage of the principal horn calls heard in the course of a day's hunting.)

What follows is the ringtone download procedure for iPhone users only, and uses M4R files required by the iPhone; most other cell phone users should use the mp3 files that we have made available for some time now. (Note: This "read more" link is open to all viewers.)

Hounds

Virginia Foxhound Club Celebrates Sixty Years

oatlands.ohiggins jones wallace sharp haightVirginia Foxhound Show, Oatlands, 1986: Huntsman Shelly O'Higgins receives trophy from Joan Jones (now President, Virginia Foxhound Club). Judges are (l-r) Captain R.E. Wallace, MFH, Exmoor Foxhounds (UK); Bun Sharp, MB, Nantucket-Treweryn Beagles; Sherman Haight, MFH, Mr. Haight's Litchfield County Hounds.

The venerable Virginia Foxhound Club—the team that brings you the Virginia Foxhound Show each year—is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary. It seems timely to look back, evaluate the importance of hound shows in the overall scheme of foxhunting, and convince those with a passion for the sport that their membership in the Virginia Foxhound Club, no matter where in North America they hunt the fox or the coyote, is an investment that will benefit all fox hunters and their hunts.

The Virginia Foxhound Show, the largest hound show in the world, brings foxhounds of all types and all strains to the flags for viewing, comparing, and judging. Whether a Master or huntsman is seeking certain bloodlines, or an outcross to introduce hybrid vigor to the gene pool within his kennels, he sees such hounds at Virginia. And he has the opportunity to socialize and chat, in a magnificent setting, about the merits and traits of the canine objects of his desire. With your support, the best matings may continue to be made in Heaven, but they’ll be arranged in Virginia!

People

In the Footsteps of a Huntsman

From London's streets to Virginia’s hunt country

bozdan and hounds.cropped.laura rileyHuntsman Andy Bozdan and the Loudoun Fairfax hounds / Laura Riley photo

The job: huntsman. The man: Andrew Bozdan—leader of fifty couple of Old English foxhounds. One hundred canines. How is this possible? In all my life as a dog owner, I’ve only had a handful who actually came when I called. How is it that we mortals have such difficulty in getting our dogs to sit and come and not potty in the house, while this man steers his entire pack in an apparently seamless manner.

The answer is, as always, nothing is ever as easy as it looks. Before the man appears in public, seated atop his skewbald gelding, wearing his scarlet coat, and blowing his copper horn to speak to the mass of hounds seething below, one heck of a lot of work happens and many miles are traveled.

Literature

A Fox in the Family

Take two gray fox cubs that need a home and one family of tender-hearted animal lovers. Put them together, and you’ve got a charming menagerie that includes horses, dogs, a grumpy cat, turtles, two little boys, frogs, mice and birds.

jane king2A Fox in the Family, Jane King, Xlibris LLC, illustrated, 96 pages, $22.49 (hardcover), $14.40 (softcover), available at Amazon and Barnes and NobleA Fox in the Family is Jane King’s reminiscences about life with a smart, funny, wild animal with loads of personality. Jane and her husband Jim were known for rescuing and rehabbing animals on their farm in Indiana. So when a neighbor salvaging an old barn discovered a family of foxes under the dilapidated structure, he knew whom to call.

The Kings went home with two cubs, promptly named Frisky and Friendly by their young sons. Unfortunately, Friendly did not make it, succumbing to a mysterious malady, but Frisky went on to become a member of the family, accepted by everyone except the cat. Frisky and his best friend, the terrier, Bandit, managed to get into all kinds of trouble, including breaking their legs at the same time in a dust-up with the horses. Their favorite playtime activity was a rousing game of snatch-the-tennis-ball, and they spent hours playing before collapsing together on the sofa to nap.Their other favorite sleeping place was under the covers with the boys.

Remembrance

Professional Horseman Bob Smith Dead at 87

BobSmith2Betsy Burke Parker photoRobert L. Smith Sr. (Bob), an institution in New York State’s horse world, died on February 19, 2015 at his home farm, Netherwood Acres. Bob is responsible for introducing countless riders to the foxhunting fields of the Millbrook and Rombout Hunts over his long career. The love and respect so many sportsmen and women hold in their hearts for this man will endure long after his ashes are spread over his beloved farm this spring.

Bob’s career with horses began in 1928 at age ten, when he began taking tourists from the city for trail rides into the Catskill Mountains on horses from his father’s farm. He was a member of Millbrook and Rombout as early as the 1950s, and his riding students of all ages rode in horse shows, hunter paces, hunter trials, and were taken foxhunting.

Bob studied agriculture and veterinary science and played on the Polo Squad at Cornell University for two years before leaving to strike out on his own and pursue his dreams in the horse business. Early in his career, Bob was involved in the breeding program for the Remount Service, which provided horses for the U.S. Calvary during and after World War II. Bob also trained a horse named Holy Smoke to jump through a ring of fire for the Disney movie Run Appaloosa Run.

In 2009, prize-winning photo/journalist Betsy Parker wrote a personal profile of Bob Smith for Covertside, which we published in the Winter edition. That story is re-published here with Betsy’s kind permission:

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