Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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soutbernGrand Champion Midland Striker 2015 (Midland Rocket '11 ex Staffordshire Moorland Stunning '11) with (l-r) Daphne Wood, MFH, LIve Oak; Mason Lampton, MFH, Midland; Mary Lu Lampton; and Marty Wood, MFH, Live Oak /   Leslie Shepherd photo

“I can’t take credit,” admits Midland huntsman Ken George, “because I didn’t breed him, but he’s one of a kind!”

A sober demon could be considered a contradiction in terms, but Ken describes Midland Striker 2015 as a foxhound possessing surprisingly contradictory traits. The handsome Crossbred dog hound was judged Grand Champion of Show at the tenth annual Southern Hound Show on April 9, 2016 at Live Oak Plantation in Monticello, Florida.

“The whole litter is fantastic,” continued Ken. “As an unentered hound last season, Striker was in on ten kills. He’s always right there.

Huntsmen sometimes worry about a first-year hound being too precocious. Often, by the second or third year, such hounds begin to think too much of themselves as individuals to fit in as good team members of the pack. Ken’s not worried about Striker in that way.

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JNAFHC2015.heatherjumpHeather Feconda, Loudoun-Fairfax Hunt (VA), was Champion, 13 & Over, on Yogi. /  Richard Clay photo

The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship competition that began modestly twelve years ago between a handful of geographically-close Virginia hunts continues to expand in scope. This year’s competition involved juniors from twenty-seven hunts located across six MFHA Districts.

The program is succeeding because it’s purpose rises above just competition. Founders Douglas Wise, MFH, Old Dominion Hounds and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt had a larger dream: bring children to new hunting countries and open their eyes to the fact that these playgrounds don’t just happen to be there for them by chance, but have been nurtured and conserved for the perpetuation of wildlife, open space, and for those who treasure the natural world.

“We want these kids to know what a conservation easement is,” said Marion Chungo, one of the organizers.

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southern hound show15.fanfare10.warner rayLive Oak Fanfare '10 is Grand Champion of the Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Michael Ledyard, Esq., MFH Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds; C. Martin Wood III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Dale Barnett, huntsman

Captain Ian W. Farquhar, MFH of the Duke of Beaufort (UK), who judged at this show seven years ago, was joined in the ring by John J. Carle II, ex-MFH of the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Ian Farquhar, huntsman for thirty-eight seasons, judged his first show forty-two years ago and has bred nineteen Peterborough champions. Jake Carle, who hunted hounds for twenty-eight seasons, has judged for over forty years at all the major hound shows in the United States. Over the course of the weekend these two very senior judges enjoyed each other immensely and got along famously in the ring despite their English and Bywaters leanings respectively. Interestingly, thirty-four ribbons were won by Crossbreds, and twenty went to English hounds. Two Champions were Crossbred, and two were English.

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jordan hicks.tryon.erik olsenHuntsman Jordan Hicks moves from the Tryon Hounds to the Piedmont Fox Hounds / Erik Olsen photoAs we approach the close of the 2014/2015 foxhunting season, here’s our report on thirteen hunts that have either hired or will require a new huntsman for next season. We have already featured personal close-ups of three of the migrating huntsmen—Guy Allman, Brian Kiely, and Graham Buston—and we plan to bring you more.

We invite readers to fill us in on any moves that we’ve missed. We also invite you to send us a personal profile on any of these huntsmen that we can publish as a feature article. Or, just send us the information, and we’ll write the story. Use the “Contact Us” link that appears at the bottom of every screen to communicate directly with me, and be sure to include your phone number.

What follows is foxhunting’s version of musical chairs.

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live oak dandy and peopleGrand Champion of Show Live Oak Dandy and (l-r) Sally Bickerstaff; Daphne Wood, MFH; Judges Linda Armbrust, Nigel Peel, and Franklin Whit Foster, MFHs; Marty Wood, MFH; and huntsman Dale Barnett / Cathy Taber photo

The eighth annual Southern Hound Show was held at Live Oak Plantation, Monticello, Florida on April 5, 2014.

It is interesting to note that of the fifty-four ribbons awarded, not including Two-Couple or Championship classes, thirty-seven ribbons went to Crossbreds and seventeen went to English hounds, which proves the value of breeding the best English hounds to the best American blood.

The day was cloudy and cool which made the spectators comfortable and allowed hounds to show at their best in the large grass ring. Kennels were set up nearby in a three-sided hay shed where hounds from Fox River Valley (IL), Green Creek (SC), Hillsboro (TN), Midland (GA), Mooreland (AL), and Bear Creek (GA) were kenneled. The Live Oak were shown out of their home kennel.

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