with Horse and Hound


This Week In…

…Blog Better Living Through Titanium Road Trip, Part Six After a restive stop at a breeding farm in Kentucky, I hunted with Mission Valley Hunt Club in Kansas on my way home west. …Horses Southern California Flower Bloom Santa Fe West Hills Hounds held a charity trail ride through a flower bloom on a historic ranch just outside of Palm Springs. …Our Hunting World British Trail Hunting Video The British Hounds Sports Association released an informational video on how trail hunting works. …People A Whipper-In Lays Down His Whip Barclay Rives from Keswick Hunt Club retires from a long and storied career as an honorary whipper-in. Jim Meads Photographs his 500th Hunt A memory from 2010 when Jim Meads, the famous photographer, shot a record 500th hunt club after decades of shooting the sport Riding to Hounds. …Remembrance Jim Meads (1930-2024), The “Running Photographer” Norman Fine remembers the legendary photographer, Jim Meads.
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martha doyle.megargee

Martha Doyle (Condensed)

martha doyle.megargeeMartha Doyle illustration by Edwin Megargee

Permit me, Muse, to sing the praises of Martha Doyle, a great lady in her own right and the noblest hunter I have ever seen or known. If I ever did see a better, I would not admit it, for that would be disloyalty to Martha’s memory and I am the High Priest of her cult. Many admire her, a certain few revered her greatness, but I adored her. She had my heart and perhaps, in a grudging, spinsterish, slightly contemptuous way, I had hers. You give your heart, I believe, to only one woman, one countryside, one horse, and one dog.

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saki.hector hugh monro


saki.hector hugh monroWriting under the pen name, Saki, British writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916) was considered a master of the short story. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, and Rudyard Kipling, Munro himself influenced A. A. Milne, Noël Coward and P. G. Wodehouse.

His witty and sometimes macabre stories satirize Edwardian society and culture. Here’s one that falls into the macabre, the Baroness lacking that measure of sensitivity with which many of the Edwardian British upper class were comfortably unencumbered.

"All hunting stories are the same," said Clovis; "just as all turf stories are the same, and all..."

"My hunting story isn't a bit like any you've ever heard," said the Baroness. "It happened quite a while ago, when I was about twenty-three. I wasn't living apart from my husband then; you see, neither of us could afford to make the other a separate allowance. In spite of everything that proverbs may say, poverty keeps together more homes than it breaks up. But we always hunted with different packs. All this has nothing to do with the story."

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irish hare

The Hare that Must Be Fox

A third condensed installment from We Go Foxhunting Abroad: A First Venture with the Irish Banks and English Downs, Charles D. Lanier’s 1924 account of a father-daughter sporting trip to Ireland and England.

irish hareIrish hare

We decided that our new sensation would be a trial of Irish harehunting, so to Watergrass Hill we flivvered, to the meet of Mr. Robert Hall’s private pack of harriers. The Master was a slender, wiry, grey-haired man of seventy years, aquiline of countenance, with a singularly winning eye and smile under his velvet cap. He and his whipper-in were, of course, in green, and a dozen or so of the field of thirty or forty also wore the correct harrier colors.

Mr. Hall had the pride of an Irishman and a sportsman in his fifteen couple of huge Kerry “beagles,” and I think it would have been a hard blow to him if luck had been denied us that day. But it turned out to be a red letter day; I think we enjoyed having it so even more for the intense satisfaction it gave our enthusiastic host than for the sport intrinsically, which was of the very best and a revelation to us, who had not before followed a strong South Irish hare.

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Foxhunting Remains an Issue as Elections Loom in UK

In the runup to the May 7 elections in Britain, foxhunting and the Hunting Act that outlawed traditional hunting there in 2005 are once again subjects for polarized wrangling in the British media. While issues of greater import confront the nation as a whole, foxhunting remains a burning issue in rural areas. For many in those locales, their way of life was drastically altered by the nation’s voters, the majority (95%) of whom live in urban settings and were unaffected by the consequences of their vote. Although the ban was successfully pushed through by a vocal minority of animal rights activists and anti-toff sentiment, to the majority of urban dwellers, foxhunting is far down on their list of crucial issues and easy to quickly dismiss as frivolous. Once again, as he did in the runup to the last election, Prime Minister David Cameron declared last week that the countryside would not be forgotten. Cameron never fulfilled his initial campaign promise during the current session of Parliament because he and his pro-hunting supporters knew they didn’t have the votes to prevail. And once again, foes of hunting, noting the renewed rhetoric of the pro-hunting faction, have pledged through their sympathetic media channels that repeal will never happen. Click for more details in “WMN OPINION,” published by Western Morning News. Posted January, 12, 2015
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University of Arizona Offers Race Track Industry Curriculum

The University of Arizona in Tuscon offers a course of study for aspiring race track industry executives and officials. The university’s Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) is the only Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degree program of its kind, specific to the pari-mutuel racing industry. RTIP students have two options to follow toward their degree—the Business Path or the Equine Management Path. The first prepares students for employment in the areas of race track management, regulation, and pari-mutuel racing organizations. The second prepares students for employment in areas dealing with racing and breeding. A recent graduate is foxhunter/race rider McLane Hendriks from Coatesville, Pennsylvania who rode in the Maryland Hunt Cup just last spring. Hendriks grew up foxhunting, competing in pony jumper shows, and pony racing. In 2007 he was awarded the Junior Steeplechase Rider of the Year title. Hendriks received his Bachelor of Science degree in December after completing his studies in the RTIP. Hendriks and his fellow students received specialized instruction in racing operations, marketing, and racing law. Industry speakers are engaged to give the students real-world insights. During the past summer, Hendriks worked as an intern for Georganne Hale, Director of Racing and Racing Secretary for the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico Racecourse. He gained hands-on experience taking entries and accompanying the paddock judge, placing judges, and race stewards. Through the RTIP, Hendriks also was also able to network with industry professionals at the university’s Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming. Held annually for attendees representing horse racing and greyhound racing world-wide, the symposium presents speakers and panel sessions discussing industry subjects and current trends, including simulcasting, account wagering, track surfaces, casino gaming, health issues, operations, technology, and regulation. RTIP students are involved as committee members in registration, publications, exhibits, and audio/visual services in this, what the university claims to be the world’s largest racing industry conference. According to the RTIP website, few other educational programs provide this kind of access and networking with high-level members from the industry that will ultimately employ its students. Posted January 10, 2015
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How Domestication Has Changed the Horse’s Genes

The course of civilization was profoundly altered by the domestication of the horse on the steppes of Eurasia some 5,500 years ago. Merchants, soldiers, explorers, and adventurers of all stripes—newly empowered by the horse to gallop rather than walk—expanded trade, warfare, migration of populations, and the transmission of ideas. To understand the genetic changes wrought by the domestication process, researchers have long wanted to compare the genes of today’s horses to those of ancient wild horses. Since no descendants of the latter have survived, scientists until recently have studied the Przewalski’s horse, the closest extant breed to those ancient horses. Now, discovery of horses frozen in the Siberian permafrost dating from 16,000 up to 43,000 years ago has given scientists a direct window into the ancient horse and has offered new insights into the process of domestication. Ludovic Orlando of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and his team have examined DNA from twenty-nine of these ancient bones and compared it to DNA from five modern domesticated breeds. They discovered that some genes present in today’s horses are totally absent from the ancient horses. They opine that these genes are mutations that resulted from the selection processes over the years. One such gene not found in the ancient horse is what they have called the short-distance speed gene present in every racehorse. The very process of domestication—the selection by humans on attributes such as strength, speed, and biddability—has by its very nature led to inbreeding. Over the five millennia since domestication began, genetic mutations not present in the ancient horses have introduced problems in the modern horse unknown to its wild ancestors. Some scientists not involved in this study believe that comparison of modern horse DNA to wild horse DNA from around the time that domestication started (about 5,500 years ago) would be a better baseline from which to understand the genetic changes caused by domestication. Click to see Sharon Begley’s Reuters article in the Christian Science Monitor and the accompanying video. Posted December 17, 2014
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Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Order by December 18th for delivery by Christmas.Order on the website or call 540-837-1436. Calls on the Horn DVDHuntsman John Tabachka, a two-time winner of the National Horn Blowing Championship, blows eight calls on the hunting horn and explains when and why these calls are used. Regular Price: $20/Subscriber Price: $18 The Songs of Foxhunting CDTwenty traditional foxhunting songs including John Peel; Here’s a Health to Every Sportsman; What a Fine Hunting Day; Drink, Puppy, Drink; A Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night; and many more! Regular Price: $25/Subscriber Price: $22.50 2016 Foxhunting CalendarThe foxhunters’ favorite appointments calendar since 1998, with all new up-to-date foxhunting photos. Our images continue to represent the finest examples of the sporting photographers’ art. Enjoy this year’s twelve 9-½ x 13-inch full color images of contemporary foxhunting scenes from North America, England, Ireland, and Germany! Regular Price: $19/Subscriber Price: $17.10 Foxhunting Adventures: Chasing the Storyby Norman FineThe Derrydale PressThirty-two foxhunting stories populated by horses, hounds, challenging obstacles, and unforgettable personalities. Accompany Norman Fine to Ireland, England, Canada, and across the United States as he meets, hunts with, and is educated by the foremost Masters, huntsmen, hound breeders, and sporting historians of the last fifty years. Regular Price: $35/Subscriber Price: $31.50   Blue Birdseye StocktieThis colorful and traditional stock tie is seen worn by field members in many of the old hunting prints and books plates by eighteenth-century artists and authors. Although it went out of common use early in the last century, it is still worn by those few traditionalists who have the style to carry it off! Regular Price: $50.00 (four-fold), $60.00 (shaped)Subscriber Price: $45.00, $54.00... This content is for subscribers only.Log In Join Now
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Anti-Horse-Carriage Lobby Group Fined

NYCLASS, a group that has lobbied intensively to ban horse drawn carriages from the streets of New York City, has agreed to pay a fine for violating campaign finance rules. The group has admitted to making illegal contributions last year to two City Council candidates, both of whom were elected. Earlier this year, the Daily News disclosed that a political consultant for NYCLASS threatened to undermine Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign if she didn’t back the carriage horse ban. In April, 2013, Quinn, who was leading her opponent—the now Mayor de Blasio—in the polls at the time, refused to back the ban. NYCLASS responded by contributing more than $400,000 to a PAC formed by NYCLASS’s political consultant to carry out the “Anybody But Quinn” campaign. Records also show that two of de Blasio’s top financial supporters gave $225,000 to NYCLASS. With Mayor de Blasio now having sent proposed legislation to ban the carriages to the New York City Council, that body—which includes the two successful candidates who received illegal funds from NYCLASS—will be deciding on the fate of the horse carriages and their drivers. De Blasio said on Tuesday that he intends to personally lobby City Council members to pass the ban. Dirty business, all under the syrupy guise of “Free the Horses; Stop the Abuse.” Posted December 12, 2014
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dr. stanley gehrt

The Coyote: Thriving Through Persecution

dr. stanley gehrtDr. Stanley Gehrt and an anesthesized coyote in metropolitan ChicagoThe Belle Meade Hounds in Thomson, Georgia will once again stage their annual Hunt Week—Gone Away with the Wind—this season from January 18 to 24. As before, the week will be fun-filled with hunting, parties, a hunt ball, and the camaraderie of the field.

As a bonus, this year’s affair will feature a fascinating presentation by special guest Dr. Stanley Ghert, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and a Wildlife Extension Specialist at Ohio State University.

Dr. Ghert, who has enthralled foxhunters at MFHA meetings over the years, will talk to Belle Meade Hunt Week attendees on Thursday morning, January 22, about his special subject of research—the coyote. This much-aligned animal has survived and even flourished over the past hundred years despite the best efforts of the federal government to eradicate it.

Early in the twentieth century, at the behest of western ranching and agricultural interests that were losing stock to predators, the U.S. Government instituted program after program designed to erase the wolf, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and coyote from the landscape. The programs were mostly successful in their purpose. The wolf, grizzly, and mountain lion were driven nearly to extinction. The coyote, however, was the one predator that not only survived the pressure, but increased its population and its range, slowly expanding eastward and covering now the entire country. How it did that is one of the mysteries of the animal world.

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