Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Here you will find reviews of, selections from, and commentaries concerning books, many of which don't even appear on Amazon's radar. But what goldmines for the literate foxhunter!

Colour

We see every color of horse in the hunting field. And while foxhunters really shouldn’t care about color, I’m guessing that many riders have a preference. Right or wrong, I know I do. In this photo, several horses of varying colors are crossing the country well. We may be missing more colors than we care to, but we hope you’ll get the idea.

karel.nmf.3.kleckKeeping up with the Blue Ridge hounds in Virginia are (L–R) Cyrus (a paint) owned and ridden by Karel Wennink; Guitar (a “black-pointed bay”) owned and ridden by your editor; Hot Rize (a “black-pointed bay” and winner of the 2014 Virginia Gold Cup) owned and ridden by Russell Haynes; and Very Berry (a roan) owned and ridden by Jef Murdock, MFH, Old Chatham Hunt (NY). / Nancy Kleck photo

Colour by Edric G. Roberts

The old saying, so often repeated,
That ‘there never was yet a good horse
Of a really bad colour,’ is greeted
With a shrug, as a matter of course;
To the past it is now relegated
As the lore of some old-fashioned school,
Which believed in tradition that rated
An exception as proof to the rule.

Staying at the Ringwell Kennels

siegfried sassoon2Sassoon was excited to be hunting in the Ringwell country this season. On his very first hunt as a youngster with the local pack, he had spied, admired, and envied another young boy, Denis Milden, who had appeared to be so experienced. That boy was now the new Master and huntsman of the Ringwell. It was an overnight trip to that country for Sassoon, and he had been invited to stay at the kennels with his old acquaintance, the Master, as often as he wished. What follows is extracted and condensed from Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man, Part Seven, Chapter III. Click for our earlier sampling from Part Seven, Chapter II.

Staying at the Kennels was the most significant occasion my little world could offer me, and in order that he might share my sublunary advancement I took Cockbird with me. In reply to my reserved little note I received a cheery letter from Denis: he would be delighted to see me and gave detailed instructions about my bag being called for and taken out to the Kennels from Downfield.

The Meadow Brook Hunt Was More About People Than Hounds

Book Review by Martha A. Woodham

foxhunting with meadow brook.tablerFoxhunting with Meadow Brook, Judith Tabler, The Derrydale Press, 2016, 312 pages, available from Amazon.“Foxhunting with Meadow Brook on Long Island, New York, was always about more than the fox, the hounds, or the horses. Meadow Brook was about its people—some powerful, some idle, many wealthy—and their shared joy in galloping across beautiful country, only minutes outside New York City.”

This quote from the dust jacket blurb on Judith Tabler’s Foxhunting with Meadow Brook sums up her book well—except for one thing. Foxhunting with Meadow Brook Hunt Club in the early days was also about the jumping—the bigger the jumps, the better.  Many members—high-powered businessmen from New York—were highly competitive, and every meet was a contest that, sadly, did not always end well. Over the decades Meadow Brook lost at least four members to dangerous riding.

Cubhunting Starts

cubhunting starts lionel edwardsIllustration by Lionel Edwards

The trees and the hedges both touched with a glory,
   The bracken all turning to gold,
And grass in the mornings bejewelled and hoary,
   Are sights that are good to behold.

September is with us, and soon we’ll be hearing,
   As mists roll away from the dawn,
A note that is bandied from covert to clearing,
   The magical note of the horn.

And woods that have slumbered in peace and in quiet,
   The whole of the long summer through,
Will suddenly waken to clamour and riot,
   Now cubbing is starting anew.

Posted August 19, 2016

From Somewhere in England by Captain Edric G. Roberts, illustrated by Lionel Edwards