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Remembrance

John B. Glass: Gentleman, Scholar

john glassJohn B. Glass, who served as Clerk and Keeper of the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book for the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) from 1973 to 1995, died on Friday, April 10, 2015, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was eighty-six years old.

John was the second of only three men to supervise the MFHA office in the 107 years since the founding of the association; he succeeded the late Joe Jones upon the latter’s retirement. John began his twenty-two-year career in the old MFHA headquarters on Water Street in Boston, moving to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia, when the directors relocated the office. John was the first to recommend computerizing the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book, and he personally wrote the code and implemented the first computer program to do that. John’s “Fox Dog” program was used for years by the MFHA until commercial programs written in newer, higher-level language became available.

The son of a West Point army officer who served in two wars, John was born in Hawaii and spent his formative years in such far-flung locations as Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, Guatemala, and Germany. He majored in economics at Yale and earned a Ph.D. in archaeology at Harvard. He became an authority on Pre-Columbian hieroglyphic manuscripts, publishing numerous papers and books on the subject, most notably as a major contributor to the academic encyclopedia The Handbook of Middle American Indians.

Archibold Kingsley, ex-MFH: Sportsman and Pilot

kingsley.george and arch.glenwoodArch Kingsley (right) with his father George at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VAArchibald Johnston “Arch” Kingsley, died March 17, 2015 at age eighty-seven. He was a Joint-Master of the Middleburg Hunt (VA) from 1972 to 1977. He lived life fully: boxing, foxhunting, racing over fences, and piloting commercially both in the air and on the water—the latter into his eighties.

The Middleburg Hunt will dedicated the running of their Point-to-Point Races on April 26, 2015 to Arch Kingsley’s memory, and plans are underway for a memorial tailgate.

Arch was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1927 to parents George and Elizabeth Kingsley. At the age of seven he was enrolled at The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania, becoming the youngest boarding student in the school’s history. Every summer Arch went to camp at Culver Academy on Lake Maxinkuckee, Indiana, eventually becoming a Golden Gloves boxer. He went on to graduate high school at Governor Dummer Academy in Newbury, Massachusetts.

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, Dies in Ireland at 94

Captain Tom Morgan presents the South Tyrone Foxhounds Hon Whip Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty winner of the Isaac Bell TrophyCaptain Tom Morgan (in wheelchair) presents the Isaac Bell Perpetual Challenge Cup at the 2015 National Irish Masters of Foxhounds Show. / Noel Mullins photo

Captain Thomas Morgan, MFH, died peacefully at his home, Hunters Lodge, Bishopstown , Lismore, Ireland on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at age ninety-four.

Captain Morgan worked closely with Ikey Bell, father of the Modern English Foxhound, and with Ben Hardaway, MFH of the Midland Foxhounds (GA), to create the Hardaway Crossbred. The Captain was Joint-Master, with his wife Elsie, of the West Waterford Foxhounds (IRE) from 1953 to 1989. For more on this iconic triumvirate of hound breeders, read “The Hardaway-Morgan-Bell Connection.” Here is Noel Mullins' tribute to this outstanding soldier/sportsman:

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, was a gentleman, wise, widely read, passionate about horses and hounds, and a diplomat who had a wonderful relationship with neighbours and landowners across the hunting country. He welcomed visitors to his very traditional home with his lovely, gentle Welsh accent, and they seldom left without the customary cup of tea and talk of hunting and horse breeding.

Professional Horseman Bob Smith Dead at 87

BobSmith2Betsy Burke Parker photoRobert L. Smith Sr. (Bob), an institution in New York State’s horse world, died on February 19, 2015 at his home farm, Netherwood Acres. Bob is responsible for introducing countless riders to the foxhunting fields of the Millbrook and Rombout Hunts over his long career. The love and respect so many sportsmen and women hold in their hearts for this man will endure long after his ashes are spread over his beloved farm this spring.

Bob’s career with horses began in 1928 at age ten, when he began taking tourists from the city for trail rides into the Catskill Mountains on horses from his father’s farm. He was a member of Millbrook and Rombout as early as the 1950s, and his riding students of all ages rode in horse shows, hunter paces, hunter trials, and were taken foxhunting.

Bob studied agriculture and veterinary science and played on the Polo Squad at Cornell University for two years before leaving to strike out on his own and pursue his dreams in the horse business. Early in his career, Bob was involved in the breeding program for the Remount Service, which provided horses for the U.S. Calvary during and after World War II. Bob also trained a horse named Holy Smoke to jump through a ring of fire for the Disney movie Run Appaloosa Run.

In 2009, prize-winning photo/journalist Betsy Parker wrote a personal profile of Bob Smith for Covertside, which we published in the Winter edition. That story is re-published here with Betsy’s kind permission:

Peter Hitchen MFH (1938--2015)

peter hitchen.vicky moonVicky Moon photo, circa 1980s

Peter Hitchen, MFH, died January 12, 2015 from complications stemming from injuries sustained in a fall in the hunting field a month earlier. He was seventy-six. At the time of his passing, Peter was serving in his twenty-seventh season as Joint-Master of the Potomac Hunt (MD).

Peter was born in England but didn’t start foxhunting until he emigrated to the U.S. in 1962. After settling in the Washington, D.C. area, Peter was introduced to the sport by a friend. He also met his bride-to-be, Nancy Tilton Orme of Leesburg, Virginia, who also encouraged his involvement with hunting to hounds at The Loudoun Hunt.

From that time on, Peter never let anything interfere with his maturing love of and passion for foxhunting. After many seasons of whipping-in at the New Market/Middletown Valley Hounds (MD) and later at The Potomac Hunt, Peter joined Irvin L. (Skip) Crawford as Joint-Master of Potomac in 1987. With huntsman, Larry Pitts, they oversaw the development of what is unquestionably one of the premier packs of American foxhounds in the United States, giving good sport to their members and garnering championships and grand championships at the hound shows year after year.

David Hopkins Semmes, ex-MFH

david semmes and field1Joint-Masters David Semmes and Mildred Riddell move off at the head of the Old Dominion field from a meet at the Honorable and Mrs. Joseph W. Barr's Houyhnhnm Farm near Hume, Virginia / Douglas Lees photo

David Hopkins Semmes—longtime Master of the Old Dominion Hounds (VA), amateur steeplechase rider, and deep-water sailor—died peacefully at his home, Indian Run Farm, near Flint Hill, Virginia, on New Years Day, just four days shy of his eighty-seventh birthday.

Born in Washington, D.C., Semmes graduated from Episcopal High School then served a tour of duty in World War II as an aviation radio crewman. He graduated from Princeton in 1949, and in 1950 served in Army intelligence on the Pusan perimeter during the Korean conflict. He worked as a government service officer in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong before returning to Washington to practice law.

Semmes managed intellectual property for forty-one years, notably patenting the so-called “black box” used on airplanes, and the technology used for protective vests for jockeys.

Melvin Poe Dies at Home at Age Ninety-Four

melvin.90thMelvin Poe at his ninetieth birthday celebration / Douglas Lees photoThe world of American foxhunting lost one of its best-loved and most highly respected personalities with the passing of huntsman Melvin Poe, age ninety-four, on Saturday September 13, 2014. That’s the sad news. The good news is that Melvin was able to ride his horse and hunt his hounds to the very last year of his life.

In foxhunting circles he was referred to simply as Melvin. Everyone knew who you were talking about. He’s been a fixture in North American foxhunting for more than sixty years and a celebrated legend for most of that time. He’s immortalized in a dramatic oil painting by Wally Nall; he made the cover of UK’s Horse and Hound in 1991; he starred in Tom Davenport’s 1979 foxhunting video documentary, Thoughts on Foxhunting, narrated by Alexander Mackay-Smith;  he was the subject for Peter Winant’s wonderful book, Foxhunting with Melvin Poe, The Derrydale Press, 2002; and in 2011 Melvin was inducted, along with his brother Albert, into the Huntsmen's Room at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg, Virginia.

Melvin grew up in the Virginia countryside. He was the boy to whom his friends turned to identify trees, birds, and animal tracks. His father, uncles, and brothers were all enthusiastic hound breeders and hunters. Melvin and his contemporaries represent a vanishing breed of countryman who knew the woodlands intimately and all that grew and thrived therein. And baseball! Melvin and his brothers loved baseball and participated in organized league play into their adult years.