Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Grand-Champion-foxhound-Brazos-Valley-Sandy-Dixon-MFH-John-Tabachka-huntsman-Sewickley-HuntSouthwest Grand Champion of Show Brazos Valley Precious 2016, shown by Sandy Dixon, MFH, is a lucky mistake. Standing is judge John Tabachka, professional huntsman for the Sewickley Hunt (PA). / Tara Tibbetts photo

Brazos Valley Precious 2016, an American foxhound, was crowned Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show on April 22, 2017. Precious is closely inbred; her sire and dam were littermates, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010 and Molly 2010, respectively. An unusual breeding practice for sure, and about which I was anxious to talk to breeder Sandy Dixon, MFH of the Brazos Valley Hounds (TX).

Both Mystic and Molly were hound show winners in Virginia, and their sire and dam were hound show winners. The four foxhounds comprising the first two generations from Precious account for eight grand championships at MFHA-sanctioned hound shows! And if you go back just one more generation, who appears in Precious’s pedigree (top and bottom, because her paternal and maternal grandparents are the same) but Potomac Jefferson 2005, the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound...the king...the Clarke Gable of the North American foxhound world.

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Hounds

Grand-Champion-foxhound-Brazos-Valley-Sandy-Dixon-MFH-John-Tabachka-huntsman-Sewickley-HuntSouthwest Grand Champion of Show Brazos Valley Precious 2016, shown by Sandy Dixon, MFH, is a lucky mistake. Standing is judge John Tabachka, professional huntsman for the Sewickley Hunt (PA). / Tara Tibbetts photo

Brazos Valley Precious 2016, an American foxhound, was crowned Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show on April 22, 2017. Precious is closely inbred; her sire and dam were littermates, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010 and Molly 2010, respectively. An unusual breeding practice for sure, and about which I was anxious to talk to breeder Sandy Dixon, MFH of the Brazos Valley Hounds (TX).

Both Mystic and Molly were hound show winners in Virginia, and their sire and dam were hound show winners. The four foxhounds comprising the first two generations from Precious account for eight grand championships at MFHA-sanctioned hound shows! And if you go back just one more generation, who appears in Precious’s pedigree (top and bottom, because her paternal and maternal grandparents are the same) but Potomac Jefferson 2005, the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound...the king...the Clarke Gable of the North American foxhound world.

brazos valley mysticThree times Grand Champion and sire of Precious, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010 / Liz Callar photoPrecious’s sire Brazos Valley Mystic 2010 won the Grand Championship at the Southwest Hound Show for three consecutive years, and was Grand Champion at the Central States Hound Show in 2010. Mystic’s and Molly’s sire Brazos Valley Catfish 2006 also won three consecutive Grand Championships at the Southwest Hound Show. Mystic’s and Molly’s dam Brazos Valley Meadow 2006 was Grand Champion at Central States in 2013. Meadow was bred at the Potomac Hunt (MD) by huntsman Larry Pitts, drafted to and entered by Dixon at Brazos Valley. Meadow’s sire was the knockout handsome Potomac Jefferson.

Precious was bred much like European royalty—all in the family. But even more so. Breeders know that the results of inbreeding can be successful beyond one’s wildest dreams. Or a nightmare.

“People are going to wonder, what was she thinking?” Dixon admitted readily. Well, just as riders don’t plan for the occasional involuntary dismount, so Dixon didn’t plan on this involuntary mount.

brazos valley meadowPrecious's dam, Brazos Valley Meadow 2006, was Grand Champion at Central States in 2013 and a daughter of Potomac Jefferson 2005. / Greg Germann photo

“I was visiting Albert Poe and had my dog hounds and bi*ches separated in the trailer,” Dixon said. “I was feeding Molly separately since she was in season, and somehow Mystic got the job done.”

After initial uncertainty about what to do, Dixon decided to go ahead and whelp the litter, then decide. Fortunately, all the puppies turned out "perfectly normal,” she says. And Precious is “beautiful” as well. Precious was introduced to the pack late last season for a few hunts, and Dixon says she behaved like “any other puppy.” She’s confident that the litter will enter well this season. She also knows that luck rode with her on this one!

Fort Leavenworth Valor was judged Reserve Champion. Valor, a Crossbred hound, was Grand Champion of both the Southwest and the Central States Hound Show in 2015. All foxhound types—American, English, or Crossbreds—compete against each other in a single ring at Southwest. John Tabachka, professional huntsman at Sewickley Hunt (PA) judged this year’s show. Exhibitors included Brazos Valley Hounds, Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), and Independence Foxhounds (TX). Click for complete results.

Posted May 17, 2017

dr. steven thomas on RomulusDr. Steven Thomas, huntsman, Fort Leavenworth Hunt, on Romulus

His day job is demanding, and he’s never hunted hounds before, but Dr. Steven Thomas has been preparing for his new responsibility as huntsman of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS) since childhood.

“Time management will be the biggest problem I’ll face,” Thomas acknowledged. “We’ll need a lot of volunteers,” he adds. But he has admiration for his fellow hunt members, the foxhounds in kennels, and the distinguished history of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt. He’s definitely looking forward to hunting hounds this season.

Thomas grew up riding Western, and, as a boy, coon hunted with his grandfather who ran his own hounds. He never rode without a pommel in front of him until he hooked up with the late Tommy Jackson, huntsman at the Mission Valley Hunt in Kansas.

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potomac jefferson.wenzelPotomac Jefferson 2005, the toast of North American Foxhounds, winning the Grand Championship at the 2007 Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week after capturing the same honor at Virginia. (L-R): George Hundt; Vicki Crawford, MFH; Larry Pitts, huntsman; Lance Taylor; Jake Carle, judge. /  Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

The fabled American foxhound who, along with his get, cornered the silver market in North America has passed on. Potomac Jefferson 2005 was the MFHA Centennial Grand Champion Foxhound at both the 2007 Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show one week later.

That year, 2007, marked the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The entire year was filled with special exhibits, competitions, and events all across the country, attracting large and enthusiastic crowds of foxhunters, horses, and hounds. The classes of all the hound shows were swelled with the best examples of foxhounds that could be mustered, along with their supporters. The year 2007 was a big deal.

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central states14.kid rock12.glencarterGrand Champion Kid Rock 2012 was shown by North Hills huntsman Tyce Mothershead with the help of wife and whipper-in Hillary and daughter Finley. / Glen Carter photo

North Hills Kid Rock 2012 was judged Grand Champion of the Central States Hound Show in Stilwell, Kansas on Saturday, May 3, 2014. The handsome white Crossbred dog hound (North Hills Ira 2011 ex Their Passion 2012) is the product of outstanding bloodlines from Fox River Valley (IL), Iroquois (KY), and Midland (GA).

Brazos Valley Mystic 2010—multi-time Grand Champion foxhound in past years—was Reserve Champion for the second time this year.

Huntsman David Raley from the Moore County Hounds judged entries from the Brazos Valley Hunt (TX), Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), Mission Valley Hunt (KS), and North Hills Hunt (NE). Foxhounds were judged in two divisions: American and English/Crossbred.

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