with Horse and Hound

Hounds

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hounds running toward camera after jumping stone wall

The 411 on Working Foxhounds to Non-Hunting Neighbors

Photo Credit RuthWorks Photography.
*I wrote this a few years ago to be helpful to my neighborhood of non-foxhunters. Hopefully more will find it useful to educate new landowners or neighbors to kennels.
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Belle Meade VHS 2 Photo by Judith Wilson

Wrangling the Organized Chaos of the Pack Class

 

Belle Meade VHS 2 Photo by Judith WilsonAlayna Myers and Tiffany Evitts are all smiles with the winning Crossbred Pack on the lawn of Morven Park, Photo by Judith Wilson.

Practicing for the Pack Class starts with handling hounds daily in the kennel. It’s about creating trust and boundaries. Teaching them to have manners, discipline, and respect without being overbearing. Knowing how to manage their attention span – how to extend it, and when to let them relax. Not letting them bowl you over or stampede through gates and interacting with them more than just feeding and hosing down. Spending extra time bonding with the aloof or shy ones. And, of course, choosing the hounds who will be the most comfortable and responsive in a stressful, public environment.

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M Beautiful Photo Hounds Hunting

The Inaugural All Maryland MFHA Performance Trials

M Beautiful Photo Hounds HuntingThe combined pack.  Photo by Tisa Della Volpe Photography. 

On March 4 & 5th 2023, Wicomico Hunt Club hosted the first ever All Maryland Masters of the Foxhounds Association (“MFHA”) Performance Trials on Wye Island. This performance trial brought together not just Penn-Marydel hounds (as in prior years), but the full chorus/compliment of diversity found in Free State packs: crossbred and American hounds.

Fun Fact: the first foxhounds in the Americas were brought to the colony of Maryland by Robert Brooke in the mid-1600s, making Maryland the cradle of foxhunting in America.

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norfolk mickey.farrin

Norfolk Hunt Dominant at New England

norfolk mickey.farrinNorfolk Mickey at the kennels in Massachusetts   /   Jennifer Rogers Farrin photo

At the New England Hound Show, held on May 22, 2022, foxhounds from the Norfolk Hunt (MA) walked off with the English, American, and Crossbred Championship trophies. In the Grand Championship Class which followed, with three Norfolk hounds of the four qualifiers competing, the odds prevailed, and Norfolk Mickey, an un-entered dog hound, was judged Best in Show.

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Orange County Pimple Is Grand Champion at Bryn Mawr

bryn mawr22.och pimple.kkandraOrange County Pimple 2019  /  Karen Kandra photo

Orange County Pimple overcame the burden of her name to be judged Grand Champion of Show at the 2022 Bryn Mawr Hound Show held at the Radnor Hunt Club on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

First held in 1914, this is the oldest and longest-running hound show in North America. Hounds are shown in six rings: English Foxhounds, American Foxhounds, Crossbred Foxhounds, Penn-Marydel Foxhounds, Beagles, and Bassets.

Judges for the final Grand Champion Class were Charlotte Buttrick, ex-MFH, Farmington Hunt (VA), and Coleman Perrin, Ex-MFH, Deep Run Hunt (VA).

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hillsboro ringo wagtail and people

Hillsboro Hounds Sweep Grand Champion Class at Virginia

hillsboro ringo wagtail and peopleGrand Champion of Show Hillsboro Ringo and Reserve Grand Champion Hillsboro Wagtail with (l-r) huntsman John Gray; Hill McAlister, MFH; Emily McAlister; Michael Lindley, MFH; Nina Lindley; Eleanor Menefee Warriner, MFH; Orrin Ingram, MFH, Tom Warriner, and Caitlin Olson.  /   Linda Volrath photo 

Hillsboro Hounds (TN) pulled off a stunt that no hunt had yet achieved in the long history of the Virginia Foxhound Show. Two Hillsboro hounds finished the day as Grand Champion of Show and Reserve Grand Champion of Show for the second time. Live Oak Hounds (FL) did it once.

After having had to cancel the show for the last two consecutive years due to Covid, the Virginia Foxhound Show was held at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia on Sunday, May 29, 2022. It was a grand reunion for the many hunting people from across the country who participated, and the weather was fittingly gorgeous all weekend.

Hounds from thirty-four hunts competed at Virginia, but we’re not completely whole yet. We miss our foxhunting friends in Canada and hope that next year will see us together again.

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central states 22 grand champion of show

Fort Leavenworth Drop Zone Is Grand Champion at Central States

central states 22 grand champion of showGrand Champion of Show, Fort Leavenworth Drop Zone 2020 and (l-r) Annette Deguchi; judge Spencer Allen; Teresa Griffith; Amanda Siegner; Mark French, MFH; judge Andrew Bozdan; Dr. Steve Thomas, MFH and huntsman  /   Kathy Wismer photography

Dr. Steven Thomas, Master and huntsman of the Leavenworth Hunt (KS) was casting back a couple of years.

“Drop Zone was my favorite puppy,” he recalled. “He was home-raised. We always take in a few of the puppies to raise in the house,” he explained.

Drop Zone had recently been judged Grand Champion of Show at the 2022 Central States Hound Show hosted by Fort Leavenworth Hunt at Master Thomas’s Blue Valley Farm.

Hounds from six hunts were shown: Brazos Valley Hounds (TX), Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), Harvard Fox Hounds (OK), Mission Valley Hunt (KS), and North Hills Hunt (NE). Hounds were judged by huntsman Spencer Allen, Long Run Woodford Hounds (KY), and huntsman Andrew Bozdan, Camargo Hunt (OH).

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ptchamp22.leahy and hounds

Performance Trial Champions Shine

-Bull Run is Champion Hunt; Goodwin’s Indigo is Champion Foxhound.

-Bull Run shows pack depth with four hounds scoring in the top twenty-five percent of the pack of previously qualified hounds.

-Goodwin’s Indigo is champion foxhound, amassing the highest individual score of all fifty-four hounds in the pack.

ptchamp22.leahy and houndsGuest huntsman Tony Leahy, MFH, and his pack of finalists. /  Mark Jump Photography

Fifty-four foxhounds from twenty-two hunts across the country converged at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, North Carolina, to compete in the Championship Performance Trial finals this year. How does a hound qualify for the finals? It finishes among the top-ten hounds in any one of the regional qualifying trials held around the country over the season. On March 25, 2022, these proven hounds convened to be numbered and to duke it out over the next two days of hunting as a high-octane pack.

Guest huntsman for this talented pack was Tony Leahy, MFH and huntsman of the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL) for the past twenty-six years and a former president of the MFHA of North America. The venue was worthy of the caliber of the competitors: nine thousand acres of flat, sandy footing, streams and natural growth, no obstacles or jumps to slow down the mounted judges, and sand roads and fire lanes to traverse. The grounds are stocked annually with three-thousand quail, but the foxes and coyotes remain undisturbed all year.

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Southern Hound Show 2022

The first foxhound show in North America in three years, and Hillsboro Wagtail ’20 has good reason to wag her tail...er...stern!

shs22.wagtail.wendy butlerGrand Champion of Show is Hillsboro Wagtail 2020   /   Wendy Butler photo

The fourteenth annual Southern Hound Show was memorable for several reasons. Nigel Peel, Ex-MFH, North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK), was ill and unable to come and join Co-Judge Marion Thorne, MFH, Genesee Valley Hunt (NY) and Apprentice-Judge Steven Thomas, MFH, Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS). Ann Hughston, MBH, Ripshin Bassets (GA), who has judged foxhounds at Carolina, Virginia, the Canadian Hound Show, and Bassets at Peterborough, was a capable stand-in.

The mood was particularly festive as this was the first hound show in three years to be held in North America thanks to the Corona Virus. Sadly, Midland Fox Hounds (GA) had kennel cough and was unable to bring hounds, but eight packs showed hounds: Belle Meade Hunt (GA), Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), Goodwin Hounds (NC), Hillsboro Hounds (TN), Iroquois Hunt (KY), Live Oak Hounds (FL), Mooreland Hunt (AL), and Palm Beach Hounds (FL). Hounds competed under blue skies, but with chilly temperatures in the forties and low fifties and relentless high wind that made the seated lunch for over 150 people look like a food fight, with fried chicken, plates, napkins, and utensils flying through the air, all as the tent was trying to collapse!

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epp and houndsjpg

Our Hounds Were on Fire

What follows is one of Master Epp Willson’s frequent email reports to Belle Meade members to recognize and thank individuals for efforts on behalf of the hunt, apprise members of current hunt affairs, or, as in this case, add to their knowledge of hounds and hunting.

epp and houndsjpg 

Belle Meade hounds drew well, handled well, and listened all day. They are settling in and becoming the team we expect them to be.

Our hounds provide quality sport nearly every time we go out. They are doing it every time if scenting conditions are decent and a cooperative coyote can be found. Yesterday was an interesting day.

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