Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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The Blessing of the Red Mountain Foxhounds

On the first Saturday in November each year, the Red Mountain Foxhounds in Durham County, North Carolina holds its annual Blessing of the Hounds at Quail Roost Farm, to which the public is invited. The Blessing is followed by a drag hunt. Videographer Meredith C. Browne of See It All Media captured these scenes from last year’s event and skillfully synchronized the words of the prayer to her images.

 

Eat First; Worry Later

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Mark Houliston’s fine photo of a fox pouncing on a mouse becomes all the more interesting when the context is revealed. For a good half hour, this red fellow hunted confidently and unconcerned, all the while trucks and trailers carrying Blue Ridge Hunt members, horses, staff, and hounds were arriving and unloading at a popular Saturday meet directly across the road from his happy hunting ground. Bon appetit, Sir Charles. We admire your nonchalance.

Posted December 22, 2015

Three Generations of Foxhunters at Tennessee Valley

skyler.smallClick photos for full size.  /   Cristy Grimsley/Hernandez photo

Seven-year-old Skyler Beauchene was the youngest member of the field out with the Tennessee Valley Hunt when hounds met at Riverplains, the family farm, in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. The more senior generations of Skyler’s family in the photo are State Senator, Grandfather Frank Nicely (left) and international trainer and rider, Uncle Jose Hernandez (right).

Riverplains is one of the founding farms for the Tennessee Valley Hunt. They do organic growing, carriage driving, dressage, three-day eventing, and so much more. I also live there. Could not be anywhere else!

Skyler is mounted on his pony Cruisy; Riverplains owner Senator Frank is mounted on Farrah; and Jose is riding Roma, a carriage horse for his four-in-hand. All the horses are owned by Skyler’s mother Rachel Nicely, Frank’s daughter. Rachel also trains and has hunted since she was very little.

Passing the Horn at Potomac

Photo by Karen Kandra Wenzel

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Larry Pitts, huntsman for thirty-five seasons at the Potomac Hunt (MD), passes the horn to huntsman Brian Kiely at Opening Meet, 2015. Pitts leaves behind a brilliant legacy of breeding American foxhound Champions and Grand Champions, including the impossibly handsome MFHA Centennial Grand Champion, Potomac Jefferson 2005.

Posted November 20, 2015

Forty-Five Years Carrying the Horn

hugh robards.emilyHugh Robards / Emily Robards photoHugh Robards, huntsman for the Middleburg Hunt (VA), was recently photographed by his daughter Emily before mounting up for a cubhunting morning. Robards has been hunting hounds for forty-five years. After whipping-in to some of the most notable huntsmen in England—including Captain Ronnie Wallace at the Heythrop—Robards began his long career as huntsman at the County Limerick (IRE) for Lord Daresbury, MFH in 1970. After twenty-seven years of showing brilliant sport over the ditches and banks to sportsmen and women from all over the world, he moved to the U.S. Robards is the author of an out-of-print memoir, Foxhunting in England, Ireland and North America and Foxhunting: How to Watch and Listen, now in its second printing.

Posted October 11, 2015