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People

Peter Walsh—Everything Changed; Nothing Changed

peter walsh gold cup.lees.smallPeter Walsh (number 7) in the Swan Lakes Stakes, 1993 Virginia Gold Cup Races. Lonesome Glory (white blaze, Blythe Miller up) went on to win the race and capture his second Eclipse award that year.  /   Douglas Lees photo

In 2014, Peter Walsh, ex-steeplechase jock, served as Field Master and hunted with both the Piedmont Fox Hounds and the Orange County Hounds, neighboring packs in Virginia. He was hunting five days a week and working as Farm Manager for Milton Sender, a field member of both packs. In the off-season, he played golf avidly.

Today, Peter Walsh is still hunting with both packs, still managing the farm, and still playing golf avidly. It would almost seem as if nothing had changed...except that between then and now, Peter lost his right arm.

Oral Surgeon To Carry the Horn at Fort Leavenworth

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.

Spencer Allen Is the New Huntsman at Live Oak

spencer allen crop smallHuntsman Spencer Allen / Douglas Lees photo

Huntsman Spencer Allen has gone through a rocky time in the past couple of years. He’s been forced to consider other options for his future, but he knows in his heart what he loves the most—working with and hunting foxhounds. And this is why he’s so happy to be in Monticello, Florida at Marty and Daphne Wood’s unparalleled establishment as huntsman for the Live Oak Hounds.

After serving six years in the Marine Corps, including a tour in Iraq, Allen began as an amateur whipper-in at the Bull Run Hunt (VA). Two seasons later he turned professional and moved to the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA), serving four seasons as first whipper-in to huntsman Richard Roberts. Allen found himself working with a talented and attractive whipper-in, Rachel Gray, who also happened to be the daughter of the previous huntsman, Butch Gray. Spencer and Rachel were married, and in 2010 Spencer was named huntsman at Piedmont. He hunted the Piedmont hounds for five seasons, showing excellent sport, but trouble followed.

Hounds Came First for Cheshire's Ivan Dowling

ivan dowlingHuntsman Ivan Dowling implemented a daring -- and successful -- hound breeding experiment for Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds. / Jim Graham photo

"I’d spent several minutes trying to describe my job as huntsman to a friend" recalled Ivan Dowling, the forty-two-year-old recently retired huntsman for Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA). “The friend looked at me and said, ‘Ivan, you mean you’re the guy on the place mat?’”

Dowling cringed a bit and smiled, “Yea, that’s me.”