Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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brazos valley mysticBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 / Liz Callar photoBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 was judged Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show for the third consecutive year, matching his sire’s outstanding performance there. The show was held on April 20, 2013 at Greenwood Farms in Weatherford, Texas.

Mystic’s success is no stroke of luck; he’s the product of a royal breeding engineered by Brazos Valley MFH Sandy Dixon. She put her own sire—Brazos Valley Catfish 2006—to a Potomac-bred bitch that she entered in 2006—Brazos Valley Meadow.

Catfish won three consecutive Grand Championships at the Southwest Hound Show in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and Meadow brought her own credentials from Maryland. She was bred by Potomac huntsman Larry Pitts and is by Potomac Jefferson, Grand Champion of both the Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show in 2007. Jefferson was knockout handsome.

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kuenzi.heatherThe authorPicture this: four hunts—Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Full Cry Hounds (AL), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ),and Mill Creek Hunt (IL)—bringing their best three couple of hounds to the field; thirty-five enthusiastic mounted riders; and sweeping vistas of open hunting country loaded with coyotes. This made for an action-packed five days of foxhunting activities consisting of a three-day Foxhound Performance Trial, foot hunting with the bassets, and a joint meet of foxhounds. It all took place at the  Flint Hills Invitational Performance Trial, held on March 7-9, 2012, generously hosted by the Moingona Hunt staff and members. The Flint Hills area of Kansas is an immense rolling prairie of tallgrass and recognized as one of America’s unique treasures.

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Ridgecrest_-_Shawn_Lloyd_-_13Joy Smith leads the Leisure Field on Kindred. By A.P. Indy, Kindred sold at Keeneland in 2006 for one million dollars, but has since found more satisfying employment.  /  Shawn Lloyd photoGreat ideas are sometimes borne of desperation.

I was desperate to get back on a horse after a lumbar fracture at the beginning of the hunting season. Having already sat out much of the season. I just couldn’t resist riding at the annual joint meet in Ridgecrest, California. Hounds and members of Red Rock Hounds (NV), Kingsbury Harriers, Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ), Paradise Valley Beagles (AZ), as well as members of several eastern hunts all come together for three days of hunting, eating, drinking, and mingling with great friends and fantastic animals.

Riding was definitely not on my list of “can do” activities, but give me a quiet horse and a promise to only walk then no harm can be done, right?

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