Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Everyone has a question at some time on an arcane hunting term, correct attire, a point of etiquette. The FHL Panel of Experts will answer your question on any aspect of hounds, hound breeding, hunting hounds in the field, training the field hunter, foxhunting history, sporting art, and literature. Try us!

When a Fox Barks

fox and dog

Evie Good queried Foxhunting Life about her recent experience with a local fox.

“Can someone explain why a fox would bark repeatedly at me?” she asked. “We heard it barking last night close to the house. We found it barking at the dog this morning. When it saw me it ran to the nearby pasture, but stopped and barked some more. Finally, the fox turned and ran out of sight.

We asked two members of our Panel of Experts—Marty Wood, MFH and huntsman Hugh Robards, ex-MFH—for their opinion on this fox’s behavior.

Hunt-to-Huntsman Relations: A Matter of Concern?

sidney bailey.vwhSidney Bailey retired in 2005 after serving as professional huntsman for the Vale of the White Horse (UK) for forty-three seasons.Foxhunting Life readers demonstrate enormous interest in our articles covering the migration of huntsmen each year at about this time. (See “Huntsmen on the Move,” published last month.) Nancy Mitchell, who has hunted hounds at the Bijou Springs Hunt (CO) over a period of sixteen years, wants to know the why of it.

“I’m curious to know what motivates this ‘spring dance of the huntsmen,’” Nancy wrote. “What circumstances create this phenomenon? Money? Prestige? Politics? Age?”

We thought it was an interesting subject for our Panel of Experts, so we asked Jerry Miller, MFH, C. Martin Scott, ex-MFH, and Hugh Robards, ex-MFH, to weigh in on Nancy's question.

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.

Connecting With the Shy Hound

peelNigel Peel, MFH, North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK) and member of Foxhunting Life's Panel of ExpertsDulany Noble, MFH of the Carrollton Hounds (MD) has a problem with one of her foxhounds. She writes:

“I have a second year bitch who is very shy around men, just men. I can tell you she has never been abused in any way by any man, staff or otherwise. She just does not like men. The men who come to the kennels work with her every time to get her over it. My worry is that she will get away and none of our male staff members or any guy on the road will be able to catch her. Any ideas for me?”

Many huntsmen would undoubtedly pass over such a hound and draft it to a friendly home, but we thought that any small hunt maintaining a small pack, or for that matter any dog owner with a similar problem would be interested if one of our experts could come up with a solution. And in fact, Nigel Peel, MFH of the North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK) sent us a very interesting suggestion for Dulany.

Is Irish Hunting Really That Crazy?

east galway2.mullins.Harry Bleahen in the airWith the East Galway / Noel Mullins photo

Denya Clarke, who hunted from childhood in Virginia, was an A-Pony-Clubber, and now lives and hunts in Ontario, posed a question about foxhunting in Ireland. She writes:

“Several of us are interested in hunting in Ireland, but it seems a matter of pride to the Irish to boast about the speed, dreadful weather, jumps onto roads, formidable ditches, intimidating banks, wire, rain, steep hills, rivers, and rocks that one will face hunting in Ireland. We're not chickens, but do the experts have any suggestions as to where or how to hunt in Ireland that doesn't require doubling (tripling) your life insurance and leaving your up-dated will in the lorry?”

We asked Hugh Robards and Noel Mullins to respond—Hugh, because he showed world-class sport as huntsman for the County Limerick foxhounds for twenty-seven seasons, and Noel, because he is a lifelong foxhunter and one of those guilty Irish journalists that Denya refers to in her question.

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Panel of Experts

haight

Sherman Haight, ex-MFH

MFHA President 1978-1981
Historian, Author

Hugh Robards, ex-MFH

Huntsman, Author

photocomingsoon

Arthur Liese

President, The Sporting Gallery and Bookshop, Inc. Sporting Art Dealer

Dr. Matthew Mackay-Smith

Co-Founder, Former Medical Editor, Equus Magazine, Veterinarian, Writer, Historian

Dr. Roger Scullin, MFH

Veterinarian, Foxhound Breeder

Jerry Miller, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder

Paul Striberry

Foxhunter, Horseman, Trainer
www.consciousriding.com

Nigel Peel, MFH (UK)

Hunstman, Breeder, Judge

C. Martin Wood III, MFH

MFHA President 1990-1993
Huntsman, Breeder, Judge

Steve Price

Author/Editor of 25 books, including The Whole Horse Catalog and 1001 Best Things Ever Said About Horses

C. Martin Scott, ex-MFH (UK)

Foxhound Breeder, Judge, Writer

marion thorne

Bill Gamble Photo

Marion Thorne, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder

 

ringtones