Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Soar: America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred

Soar, trained and ridden by Lindsey Partridge, captured this year’s title of “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred” at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The competition, sponsored by the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover program, demonstrates what Thoroughbreds can do after their racing career ends. Competitors vie in a variety of disciplines—polo, show hunter, barrel racing, dressage, eventing, foxhunting, showjumping, working ranch, and competitive trail. The top three competitors chosen by the judges from each division are invited to compete in the finale. One horse is chosen as “America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred.”

Soar, a 2007 Canadian-bred mare, competed in both the Competitive Trail Division and the Freestyle Division. The latter division was offered as a catch-all for those horses that didn’t fall into any of the nine disciplines offered. Although Soar was shown in the Competitive Trail Division, the Freestyle really allowed her to show off her exceptional talents. Click to watch the video of this sweet, unflappable horse and her talented trainer performing their Freestyle ride.

All the competing horses showed their talents for their new jobs after less than one year’s training. This year’s competition hosted nearly two hundred horses, all of them required to possess a Jockey Club tattoo, to have been raced or in race training after January 1, 2013, and not to have had any significant training for anything other than racing prior to January 15, 2015.

Click to see Sarah Coleman’s complete article, video, and photos in HorseChannel.com.

Posted November 6, 2015

Book Launch at NSL: The Great Hound match of 1905

The National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia will be the venue for the launch of Martha Wolfe’s new book, The Great Hound Match of 1905: Alexander Henry Higginson, Harry Worcester Smith, and the Rise of Virginia Hunt Country, on Sunday, November 8, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Martha will speak and sign copies of her book.

In November 1905, the peak of foxhunting season across the Midlands of England and up and down the east coast of North America, two tiny towns in Virginia’s Piedmont, poor and nearly forgotten after the Civil War and a recent depression, saw the coming of illustrious and wealthy foxhunters to raise their hopes. There was to be a contest, a Great Hound Match, between two packs of foxhounds, one English and one American. This book, the story of an audacious contest between men cut from very different cloth and their hounds carved from very different stock, chronicles a metaphorical battle in America’s coming of age—her psychic independence from Britain’s lingering shroud at the turn of the 20th century.

Admission is $5, free to NSLM members. Please RSVP to Anne Marie Barnes at the National Sporting Library or call 540-687-6542, extension 25.

Posted October 23, 2015

Sally Young (1942-2015)

sally young.leesDouglas Lees photoSally Fendall Harrison Young of Marshall, Virginia, died peacefully on October 1, 2015 at age seventy-two. Her beloved husband of fifty-two years, James L. Young, MFH, Orange County Hounds (VA), predeceased her in 2012.

Back in their day, when Melvin was still hunting the Orange County hounds, my phone would ring. “When are you coming out to play with us?” Sally would ask. Joan and I would be there the next hunting day. Jimmy led the field, and if he always seemed to be well-mounted, it was probably thanks to Sally’s schooling.

Sally was born on October 16, 1942, in Leesburg, Virginia to the late Stirling and Hester Ann Harrison. She was a graduate of The Gunston School in Centreville, Maryland, and a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. A dedicated horsewoman, Sally’s passion began as a toddler and continued throughout her life. She was a member of numerous foxhunting and equine associations, including the Loudoun Hunt, the Orange County Hunt, Virginia Trail Riding Association and the Virginia Foxhounds Association.

Her sisters, Hester Ann Glans and Nancy L. Riner, also predeceased her.

Survivors include her sons, Stirling H. Young and James R. Young; a sister, Elizabeth H. Goulart; four grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 16, 2015—her birthday—at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Morven Park Equestrian Center or the Museum of Hounds & Hunting at the Westmoreland Davis Memorial  Foundation, Morven Park, 17195 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, Va. 20178, Attention: S. Musgrave.

Click to offer online condolences.

Posted October 7, 2015

Managing Flies on the Horse farm

Researchers have discovered a species of tiny wasp that may prove to be a sustainable way of managing fly population on horse farms without the use of insecticides.

Preferring horse manure over cattle manure, a lab study showed that the Spalangia female wasp inserts her eggs into fly puparium in the manure. When her eggs hatch, the wasp larvae eat the fly pupae. (Another wasp species, the Muscidifurax, appears to prefer bovine manure to equine manure!)

The two species of parasitic wasps are sold commercially. The authors of the study also provide advice on when, how, and how many wasps should be released.

The paper was published by the Entomological Society of America in their Journal of Integrated Pest Management, written for farmers, ranchers, and extension professionals.

Journal Reference:
Erika T. Machtinger, Christopher J. Geden, Phillip E. Kaufman, Amanda M. House. “Use of Pupal Parasitoids as Biological Control Agents of Filth Flies on Equine Facilities.” Journal of Integrated Pest Management, September 2015 DOI: 10.1093/jipm/pmv015

Posted September 24, 2015

Fort Leavenworth Home to Only Military Foxhunt

The Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS) is the only MFHA-registered hunt under military auspices. Every August, the hunt holds a free foxhunting camp—Eight Easy Lessons—to review riding and hunting customs for the benefit of current and potential members, according to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.

Organized in 1926 by the U.S. Tenth Cavalry Regiment, the Fort Leavenworth Hunt kennels are still on the Fort. Members hunt the coyote mostly on Fort Leavenworth lands in the region where the Santa Fe Trail begins. Hunt subscribers are military personnel, their families, as well as civilians.

The first two of the eight lessons are riding lessons in which riding skills of the participants are evaluated. The third lesson involves riding drills. The fourth lesson is an informational session about the hunt and its traditions, and the remaining lessons are mounted lessons in the hunting country. The hunt offers four fields to mounted participants.

Before World War II, nearly every major Army post had its own hunt. Today the Fort Leavenworth Hunt is the last remaining U.S. military-affiliated fox hunt. The Crossbred pack is cared for and trained by Stephanie Wilcox, MFH and huntsman. Because Kansas law limits foxhunting, hounds chase only coyotes now.

Throughout the hunt’s history, numerous military leaders participated in the hunt, including General Jonathan Wainwright, MFH in 1929, and General George Patton. The hounds, first cared for by the 10th Cavalry Regiment or Buffalo Soldiers, chased foxes and coyotes on post.

Click for the complete Fort Leavenworth Lamp article.

Posted September 24, 2015