Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Maryland has a rich equine history that includes Thoroughbred breeding and racing, a part in the birth of the U.S. Cavalry, and foxhunting. To celebrate that history, the Horse Industry Board of the state’s Department of Agriculture in concert with the Maryland Historical Society have created a free history tour in eleven parts on the state’s Eastern Shore. It is hoped that in time and with experience, such tours can be expanded to Baltimore and other parts of the state.

The first Historic Horse Trails, just unveiled, are on Assateague Island where wild horses can be seen in their habitat as well as the century-old plantation stables where Man o’ War and War Admiral trained. Self-guided tours will soon be enhanced by interactive apps downloaded to the tourist’s smart phone.

Other attractions are the Ocean City Life Saving museum where lifeguards patrolled the shores on horseback for lost swimmers and shipwrecks, the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum, the Ocean Downs harness racing track, Rackliffe Plantation, Union Station, Wicomico Hunt Club, Pocomoke River State Park and Holly Ridge Farm.

A spokesperson has indicated “tremendous interest” from both tourists and potential tour sites. Click for more details in Colin Campbell’s article in the Baltimore Sun.

Posted July 20, 2014

 

Hamilton Phillips Fox, ex-MFH, died at his home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore on November 26, 2013 at age 93. He was a decorated Naval veteran of World War II and enjoyed a distinguished law career in Salisbury, Maryland for nearly fifty years, starting in 1947. He served as MFH of the Wicomico Hunt (MD) for forty years, starting in 1964.

Friends and colleagues describe Mr. Fox as a kind man who treated all people fairly both in his sporting and professional life. He served two terms as State’s Attorney between 1948 and 1956. Foxhunting was his favorite pastime.

Mr. Fox enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor and began his military service as an ensign. He commanded landing a craft ferrying tanks to the coast of Sicily in 1943. General Patton boarded his craft in Sicily to commend the crew for a job well done. Mr. Fox, who recalled hunting behind the general in Virginia as a teenager, talked foxhunting to Patton’s delight.

On D-Day—arguably the most important single day of the twentieth century—Mr. Fox ferried troops and equipment to Omaha Beach in Normandy. He is mentioned in Stephen Ambrose’s definitive and best-selling history of that day, D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches.

 Mr. Fox left the Navy as a First Lieutenant having won five battle stars.

He was a graduate of Randolph Macon Military Academy and Washington and Lee University (1941). After the war ended, he graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1947. Click for more details in DelMarvaNow.com.

Posted December 3, 2013

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John Dean has returned to Pennsylvania to become huntsman for the Radnor Hunt. Although he spent his last seven years hunting coyotes in Missouri, Dean is well-known to veteran foxhunters in Pennsylvania.

Dean was huntsman for the old West Chester Hunt, an un-recognized pack in that state, and served as professional huntsman for the Wicomico Hunt in Maryland from the late 1990s. His wife Pam has connections to Radnor through her father, Bob Wilson, who hunted the Radnor hounds from 1972 to 1990.

Radnor celebrated the start of its 131st consecutive season on Opening Day, Saturday, November 2, 2013. After a stirrup cup accompanied by the music of bagpipers, the new huntsman took his pack of 15-1/2 couple of American foxhounds and led a field of fifty-six riders and a horde of car-followers to the first covert.

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“Foxes were plentiful,” writes Collin McNeil, MFH, “and John Dean’s hounds accounted themselves well with one big, red Charlie speeding past the second field within just a yard or so.”

The customary hunt breakfast was held later at the clubhouse, where the new huntsman was toasted and the day’s stories shared.

Posted November 5, 2013

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