Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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bull runs spree

Bull Run’s Spree was the top scoring foxhound in the Belle Meade Hunt Foxhound Performance Trials held in Thomson, Georgia on January 20 and 21, 2017. Of thirty-six hounds competing, Spree won three of the four scoring categories: Hunting, Trailing, and Endurance. In the Full Cry category, he was second.* His combined score led the field in points.

Six foxhounds from each of six hunts competed—Belle Meade Hunt (GA), Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Bull Run Hunt (VA), Farmington Hunt (VA), Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), and Mill Creek Hunt (IL). The three top scoring hunts, based on the combined scores of their hounds from first to third, were: Bull Run, Fox River Valley, and Belle Meade.

Trial Huntsman Sam Clifton was called upon during the award ceremonies to announce his choice—the hound he’d most like to take back to his own kennels. Huntsman’s Choice is an honorary award and receives no official prize, but, as in past trials, Sam’s reasoning for his personal choice was worth hearing.

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fort leavenworth vixenFort Leavenworth Vixen, Grand Champion of Show, handled by Stephanie Wilcox Carter, MFH and huntsman. Judge Vincent Tartaglia is standing (middle). /  Angela Fain photo

Last year was the boys’ year. This year the Crossbred female, Fort Leavenworth Vixen 2013, evened the score with her littermate Valor by winning the Grand Championship at the Central States Hound Show.

Vixen is a speckled, mostly white tricolor by Brazos Valley Baxter ‘08 out of Fort Leavenworth Piper ‘07. American and Crossbred bloodlines are predominantly from Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), Brazos Valley Hounds (TX), and the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA). The most recent contribution of pure English blood to this lovely Crossbred was from the Arapahoe Hunt kennels (CO), three generations back.

Stephanie Wilcox Carter, MFH and huntsman of the Fort Leavenworth pack describes Vixen as conformationally correct, happy, and unflappable.

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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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BRH-20100828-6874-DxOCubhunting is now underway in most hunting countries, and the early morning slanting light is a photographer’s wish come true. Some stunning photos are coming our way, and we will be sharing them with you. For a sample of Karen Myers’ photographic art on opening day of the Blue Ridge cubhunting season, click on Photo Gallery, under the Horse and Hound drop-down menu. Watch here for Old Dominion, Mill Creek, and other photo slide shows to follow.

Photographers, we invite you to submit 12–18 of your best shots in your hunting countries, include captions, and we will post them in our Gallery as slide shows with credit to you and links back to your email or website so others may find you.
September 8, 2010

"I have a question about foxhound conformation," writes Kelly Bryant who has hunted with the Mill Creek Hunt in Illinois. "I have noticed that in the hound show galleries, some winners have a level back and some have a curved back. How does the back relate to the performance of the hound, and what difference does a level or curved back make? Which is preferred?"

These are excellent questions, and, as we have noted before, there are no right and wrong answers—only opinions and cautions. A wheel back is desirable to many breeders and judges of modern foxhounds, but a roach back is—most will agree—a weakness.

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