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Fox Hunting News

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Independence Foxhounds Announce The End of Their Hunt Club

On February 10, the Masters of Independence Foxhounds announced that they were closing the hunt club. The three Masters are John Dorrier, Jr., Candida Scott, and David Rowe. Candida Scott, also the huntsman, released the following statement.
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New Website Platform

Thank you for your continued support of Foxhunting Life. As of today (Feb. 3, 2024) we have updated our website to a new platform. As part of this update, we are consolidating our membership options to make things simpler and provide more value to all.

Subscription Changes:
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Melvin Poe

“Thoughts on Foxhunting” Film 50th Anniversary

Melvin PoeMelvin Poe - image from the film, "Thoughts on Foxhunting".

The Friends of Emmanuel Episcopal Church Delaplane and Folkstreams.net will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film "Thoughts on Foxhunting" with a special showing on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 7 PM at the Middleburg Community Center in Middleburg, Virginia.

The event will premiere a new 4K high-definition scan of the original 16mm film.

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Big Sky Hounds Montana Photo by Gretchen Pelham

Big Sky Hounds Celebrate 10 Years!

Big Sky Hounds Montana Photo by Gretchen PelhamBig Sky Hounds, Three Forks, Montana. Photo by Gretchen Pelham.

If you are in Montana, you need to hunt with the Big Sky Hounds. Great hounds, great country, great people. It is, as their website says, “Foxhunting Montana-Style.”  

They are the real deal.

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rsz 3virginia field hunter championships photo by liz caller permission via fb

A Season of Field Hunter Competitions

rsz 3virginia field hunter championships photo by liz caller permission via fbVirginia Field Hunter Championships. Photo by Liz Caller.

At the start of every hunt season, several field hunter competitions showcase the skills of hunt members and their mounts. The nature of our sport doesn’t usually lend itself easily to competition, so each venue has come up with creative ways to quantify the skills needed to ride to hounds. Some competitions lean more towards jumping skills in an arena, while others try to keep as close to the hunt field as possible. These competitions can be a fun way for members to tune up their mounts for the hunt season. A few of the unique tasks required from competitors during individual rounds are opening and closing a gate while mounted, dropping a rail while mounted, halting from a hand gallop, dismounting and remounting from a stone wall, blowing a horn, and cracking a whip to name a few. Usually, only hunt members in good standing with their hunt clubs riding horses that are considered to have been fairly hunted are allowed to compete.

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rsz tvh hw 158k

A Dorset Huntsman Convicted of Illegal Hunting

rsz tvh hw 158kPhoto by Gretchen Pelham

Mark Pearson, Joint Master and Huntsman for the South Dorset Hunt, was found guilty this October of illegal hunting. A video of Pearson was taped by hunt saboteurs that allegedly showed him “encouraging” the pack to kill a fox, violating the Hunting Act 2004. The incident occurred last December 2021 in Dorset, located in southwest England.

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Bull Run rsz bull run img 2554k

Bull Run Hunt’s New Kennel Construction

Bull Run rsz bull run img 2554kBull Run Hunt photo by Gretchen Pelham

An over-110-year-old fox hunting club is updating its kennel. 

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MFHA Field Hunter Championship – Celebrating That Special Horse

 

rsz 1mfha img 4914Photo from the 2007 MFHA Centennial Fieldhunter Championships, by Gretchen Pelham

The 2022–2023 hunting season becomes the foxhunters’ year of the horse as the Masters of Foxhounds Association (the “MFHA”) organizes a series of horse competitions across North America. The MFHA Field Hunter Championship is more than a celebration of the foxhunting horse; it’s a chance to earn regional and national field hunter titles that distinguish riders and their hunts. Additionally, it's an opportunity for hunts to raise funds.

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New Forest

New Forest Hounds Have Converted to a Bloodhound Pack

 New Forestby Keith Simpson Photography

The New Forest Hounds in England has converted its foxhound pack to bloodhounds for the 2022-2023 season. The hunt club uses the historic New Forest, a national park consisting of over 71,000 acres in southern England.

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blurry hunt photo

Verdict of Guilt Is Reversed

blurry hunt photo

Last year, a senior UK foxhunter and board member of the British MFHA, Mark Hankinson, was found guilty in Westminster Magistrates' Court of contravening the despised Hunting Act of 2004. He was also ordered to pay the court £3,500 in fine and fee. The deputy chief Magistrate concluded that he was "clearly encouraging the mirage of trail laying to act as cover for old-fashioned illegal hunting."

The case involved the question of whether or not Hankinson, in a webinar seen by about one hundred hunt leaders, promoted ways for hunts to covertly hunt illegally by making it appear they were trail hunting.

This year, a court heard his appeal and considered whether Hankinson's words were intentionally encouraging an offense. The court decided to the contrary, reversed the original verdict, and Hankinson was adjudged not guilty.

Hankinson explained he was referring to the practice of laying dummy trails to fool saboteurs.

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