Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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larry wheeler.crossing the creek

Cross Gate Gallery (Lexington) has curated a one-man exhibition of paintings by renowned sporting artist Larry Dodd Wheeler at the Willcox Hotel in Aiken, SC. The Opening Reception was held on Feb 24, 2017, and the paintings will hang through April 14.

The Willcox Hotel is a popular Aiken meeting place for horsepeople of many disciplines---foxhunting, eventing, racing, and polo---and Larry Wheeler's art should find an enthusiastic audience there. Members and hunting visitors from the Aiken Hounds (SC), Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC), Why Worry Hounds (SC), and Belle Meade Hunt (GA) are seen at the Willcox throughout the season for cocktails and dinner and especially on Hunt Nights (Tuesdays).

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wws heythrop r achelWhy Worry Hounds' Heythrop Rachel 2011 is Grand Champion of the 2016 Carolinas Hound Show.

Why Worry’s Heythrop Rachel 2011 was judged Grand Champion at the fortieth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South Carolina on May 7, 2016. It’s one thing for a visiting MFH to pick up a nice draft to bring back to the home kennels; it’s another thing entirely to know what to do with it. Here’s where George and Jeannie Thomas, MFHs, Why Worry Hounds (SC), showed their breeding acumen.

While visiting friends in England and judging a puppy show at the Heythrop kennels, George mentioned that he needed a bi*ch* to introduce new bloodlines into his breeding program. We have just the hound for you, he was told. So he brought home a nicely-bred entered bi*ch, Heythrop Rachel 2011.

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carolinas15.david traxlerGrand Champion Hillsboro Graphic '14 with professional whipper-in Leilani Hrisko. Judges (l-r) are MFHs Tony Leahy and Dr. Jack Van Nagell / David Traxler photoHillsboro Graphic '14 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the thirty-ninth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, South Carolina on May 8 and 9, 2015.

Whelped to royal bloodlines—American on the sire’s side and English on the dam’s side—it should have been no surprise to see Graphic garner top honors. Her sire is Hillsboro Jethro '08, son of the magnificent Potomac Jefferson '05, Grand Champion Foxhound at Virginia in the year of the MFHA Centennial celebration, 2007.

On the dam’s side, Graphic goes back in tail female to North Cotswold Grapefruit '95, a Peterborough Champion and dam of several influential foxhounds in North America including Iroquois Grundy '98, Master Jerry Miller’s all-time favorite foxhound, and Mid-Devon Grocer '00, sire of Virginia and Bryn Mawr champion hounds from Blue Ridge.

Foxhounds from fourteen hunts and five states trod the flags at Carolinas: Aiken, Camden, DeLa Brooke, Green Creek, Hillsboro, Keswick, Lowcountry, Moore County, Red Mountain, Sedgefield, Tennessee Valley, Tryon, Whiskey Road, and Why Worry.

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cornelia henderson.banjo.shawn mcmillenCornelia Henderson and Banjo / Shawn McMillen photoI was brushing Banjo's mane before a meeting of the Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC). It was standing on end from static electricity, and I thought, “Oh, rats. It's not going to be a very good day today....too dry.” Was I ever wrong!

And John Emery had apparently told Master Lynn Smith that if the hounds spent another day in the swamp, he wasn't EVER going back to the Jackson meet. No worries there; John will definitely be back.

We started out toward Averitt Valley Road with hounds speaking in the woods on the in-country side. They worked hard, and first flight took off down and around Kirkland and in by the chicken houses. Second flight held up a bit and listened and watched, finally deciding to move along behind first. That's when all hell broke loose in the middle of the country with hounds screaming away while we were still on the far edge.

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katherine wedsKatherine Gunter and John Dunbar were married on June 9, 2012, at Tybee Island, Georgia.

Katherine has been huntsman for the Aiken Hounds (SC) for the past four seasons. Prior to Aiken, she was professional staff at the Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC) and the Bear Creek Hounds (GA).

John laid the drag for Aiken Hounds for much of this past season, riding western! John's family owns and operates a large cotton farm east of Aiken, and both share a love of fishing and hunting. Katherine and John met through foxhunting friends, Danielle Sertick and Todd Martineau, who will also be married later this summer.

Katherine and John were married on the beach at Tybee with fifty family and friends in attendance. Katherine's bridesmaids were foxhunting friends Mary Taylor Miller (whipper-in for Middleburg Hunt), Ria Burton (whipper-in for Aiken), Christine Raley (wife of Moore County huntsman David Raley), Danielle Sertick (whipper-in for Aiken) and Alison Brown (rider and trainer).

The couple honeymooned in the Florida Keys where they went deep sea fishing for five days. Shortly thereafter they went on another fishing trip off the North Carolina coast with Tony Gammell, huntsman for the Keswick Hunt (VA), Jordan Hicks, huntsman for the Tryon Hounds (NC), and Adrian Smith, huntsman for the Metamora Hunt (MI). Pretty good summer for the newlyweds so far!

Posted July 22, 2012

Linda Knox McLean is MFH of the Aiken Hounds.