with Horse and Hound

J. Harris Anderson

paving paradise.small.cover.jhs

Paving Paradise: A Review

Book Review by Dulany Noble, MFH

paving paradise.small.cover.jhsPaving Paradise, A Paradise Gap Novel by J. Harris Anderson, Blue Cardinal Press 2020, Paperbound, $17.95

What a fun read. And a fun ride! Paving Paradise is the third book in a series by J. Harris Anderson that takes place in the idyllic hunt country of Crutchfield County, Virginia. You do not have to read the first two books to enjoy this one, but it might take you a few chapters to keep all the characters straight.

On the plus side, having read this one, you will be on familiar terms with the characters―a bonus―when you decide to read the first two books, as I must now do.

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John Harris Anderson

You Might Be a Foxhunter If…

John Harris AndersonJohn Anderson, writer/editor/foxhunter  /   Douglas Lees photoIt’s been said that a “highbrow” is someone who can listen to Rossini’s "William Tell Overture" and not think of the Lone Ranger. In the hunting world, that might be said of anyone who’s never heard of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck” jokes. Leader of the Blue Collar Comedy genre, Foxworthy’s shtick consists of such gems as:

If you can recognize your friends by the sound of their mufflers, you might be a redneck.

If your school fight song was “Dueling Banjos, …”

If you’ve ever cut your grass and found a car, …”

If you refer to the sixth grade as “My senior year, …”

Borrowing from this concept, herewith are a few examples of “You Might Be A Foxhunter.” (Some of these apply to horse people more broadly, but all of them apply to foxhunters.) So here we go.

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Hunt Point-to-Points Are a Cherished Tradition

Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Tradition: the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.

piedmont14.open timberUp close and personal at the 2014 Piedmont Point-to-Point  /   Douglas Lees photo

Few events embody more fully the combination of nostalgia and tradition as does a day of point-to-point racing sponsored by the local foxhunting club. These races are a living link back to the days when fast horses flew over open country while the local folks cheered them on.

The running of the first hunt point-to-point is believed to have been hosted by the Warrenton Hunt (VA) on March 24, 1934. This was a time when Lowell Thomas narrated Movietone newsreels, which often featured updates on horse racing to the delight of a national audience. On that March day in ’34, an unassuming yearling colt, who would soon capture the imagination of the entire country, was frolicking in his pasture in Lexington, Kentucky. His name was Seabiscuit.

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