Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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How I Came to go Foxhunting

steve price at scarteen2Steve Price on his first foxhuntSome time ago in Norm Fine's Blog we asked the question, How to did you come to go foxhunting? Fine told his story and received some good Comments in response. Here’s Steve Price’s story. Use the Comments field to send us yours!

It happened nearly forty years ago. I was half of a two-person equestrian journalist junket to Ireland. Over lunch in his home at Scarteen, Master Thady Ryan invited us to join him the following day. My companion happily agreed, but I demurred. My jumping skills were limited to beginner courses---egg-rolls and twice-arounds---and I had seen the formidable banks and ditches separating the County Limerick fields.

“Aw, I’ll give you my best hunting horse,” Thady assured me, “you’ll be safe as houses.”

In for a penny… I shrugged, and went along.

A Son Remembers Essex Fox Hounds' Tribute to His Father

bert hannahColumnist Russ Hannah, writing for NorthJersey.com, recalls the day the Essex Fox Hounds (NJ) paid tribute to Bert Hannah, his late father. Bert wasn’t a foxhunter, a landowner, or a captain of industry. He was, writes Russ, an “ordinary man who had once been a Minnesota lumberjack with a third-grade education, if that.”

Bert was a caretaker on a large estate near the Brady estate and Hamilton Farms. The latter represented five thousand acres, constituting the primary Essex hunting country. The former, Martha Brookes Hutcheson’s estate of 104 acres, where Bert Hannah served as caretaker, was closed to the hunt by the owner as the result of a fallen rider being seriously injured there years earlier.

Nevertheless, Bert Hannah was an animal person. He bred field trial beagles—one a 1963 National Champion, Longview Susie at left in news photo with two of her offspring. And he loved horses.

Bert was always friendly to the Essex riders, stopping to talk as they went by. Any injured or lost foxhound that passed Bert’s way was taken in by him, fed, and cared for before being returned to kennels.

Huntsmen on the Move

downing.dennis.karen mDennis Downing is the new huntsman at the Bedford Hunt (VA). / Karen L. Myers photo

Huntsman Robert Taylor hasn’t had a good rest in five years. He’s been hunting two separate packs of foxhounds in Maryland—the Goshen Hounds as Master and amateur huntsman and the New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds as professional huntsman. Huntsman Ken George has been driving hounds and horses six hours each way twice a week from Kansas to Iowa to hunt hounds in both states. Huntsmen love what they do, but each season ends with changes in the wind.

As this hunting season draws to a close, we see huntsmen on the move again. Starting in the north and progressing southward then west, here’s what we know so far; please let us know who we’ve left out.