with Horse and Hound

Where Did You Hear That One?

I shall always be grateful to the Masters of Foxhounds Association for allowing me to develop Covertside and serve as

its editor for fifteen years. During that time I had the unparalleled opportunity to meet, observe, hunt with, talk to, and interview many of the greatest huntsmen, hound breeders, Masters of Foxhounds, and foxhunting statesmen of the last half-century. Not only in North America, but in England and Ireland as well.

When planning this website, one of the features I wanted to offer was access to authorities such as these. Every foxhunter has the occasional question, whether it be on an arcane hunting term, hunting hounds in the field, breeding hounds, correct attire, a point of etiquette, training the field hunter, sporting art or literature.

I have found over the years that there are answers, and then there are answers! Sometimes sound and sometimes nonsense, depending upon the source. I resolved to assemble a Panel of Experts whose breadth of knowledge and proven experience was unassailable.

My goal of being able to offer authoritative answers is now being realized. Several of FHL’s Panel of Experts have already kicked off what I consider to be one of the most important resources of this website by fielding subscribers’ questions with serious intent, humor, and expansive answers. I thank the entire panel: Sherman Haight, Arthur Liese, Dr. Matthew Mackay-Smith, Jerry Miller, Nigel Peel, Hugh Robards, Martin Scott, Dr. Roger Scullin, C. Martin Wood, and James L. Young.

And speaking of humor, with tongue in cheek, Martin Scott objected to the over-worn title of Expert.

“I am weary of being an expert,” he wrote. “That has been defined as an ‘ex’— a has been, which may be true—and a ‘spurt’—a drip under pressure.”

When pressed for an alternative, Scott suggested Panel of Advisors.

I countered by writing that “in this age of ‘uber-communication,’ there are all too many individuals ready, willing, and even anxious to dispense their dubious ‘advice.’ What we need are ‘Expert Advisors’ such as you!”

“You win!” he replied.

The Ask the Experts drop-down menu above brings you to previously published Questions and Answers and instructs you How to Ask, should you have a question you’d like to put to the panel. See the most recent “Ask the Experts” posting on the Home Page. Readers’ comments are invited.
July 12,2010