Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhunters love to travel! If you have a good travel story, share it with FHL. Click on How to Submit.

The Road Warriors

John Rera and Mo Trail, our first stop-over host, pose with the evidence.

The eternal query—where does the rubber meet the road?—was definitively answered at the witching hour last night. It meets the road in Beckley, West Virginia. And in East St. Louis. Let me explain.

We've embarked on the quintessential road-trip, my friend Beth Rera, her young son John, and I. We’re traversing the nation, literally, from coast to coast over an eighteen-day period.

I'd been charged with delivering some horses from the East Coast to the Santa Barbara area of California. I also picked up a job to ship some furniture from Middleburg to its owner in Albuquerque, and some stuff' for the return trip back east. It's sort of the tale that creates road legend, this nearly 6,000-mile journey crossing the spine of the U.S.

We're stopping along the route westbound with friends (I-70 route, primarily) and eastbound at several commercial horse hotels (I-40 route.) It is a three- to four-day journey no matter what, each way, with forty-five-plus hours of driving in each direction. I like to think of it as a twenty-first century variation on Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie. Beth likens it to a version of Thelma and Louise minus the man-hating aspect. John considers it the opportunity of his seven-year life: the ultimate show-and-tell for the first-day of school next month.

Foxhunting Travel Checklist

Here are my personal checklists for foxhunting travel. Using them won't guarantee an incident-free trip, as I once discovered after leaving all my tack in the stable driveway. But barring such stupidity on your part, they will go a long way in assuring that you have what you need when you get there! Click on the printer icon to print the lists for yourself, and check off as you pack. And let us know what's missing, so we can add it for the next guy or girl.

The Riding Safari

Photos by Garth Thompson and Derek de la Harpe

The author discovers a new adventure on horseback that features good horses, wide open spaces, abundant wildlife, and a measure of risk.


Ten horsemen stood on the bank of the Mara River under the midday equatorial sun as Tristan explained the crossing.

“We must cross here and land on the far bank at that tree, you see. You must point your horse upstream so the current doesn’t carry you down to the hippos there.”

Foxhunters on Horseback: Exploring Dartmoor

IMG 2943(Front to back) The author, Rosie Campbell, MFH, Live Oak huntsman Spencer Allen, his father Chris Allen, and two friends explore Dartmoor National Park, with Liberty Trail hosts Elaine and Robert Prior.

The first morning there was heavy mist across the moors, and visibility was limited. What I could see looked exactly like I imagined a scene from Hound of the Baskervilles or Jamaica Inn. Ghostly hedges revealed hidden farmyards, complete with thatched roof cottages and low barns.

We had come to Dartmoor National Park in Exeter, England to ride across the famous moors for a couple of days before continuing onto Devon and Cornwall. Rosie Campbell, MFH of Bull Run Hunt (VA), her husband Chris Allen and son-in-law Spencer Allen, and my husband Michael and I had driven down to Bovey Castle from London on Tuesday. It had been cool, with some showers, and by 4:00 pm we met in the lovely sitting room for a traditional Devon cream tea. Delicious and decadent. We had it only once! Buttery biscuits, topped with berry jam and then the cream, which really looks like butter, is so good.

Bovey Castle is a luxurious spa in the heart of Dartmoor and caters to hunting and fishing activities of all sorts. They have partnered with Liberty Trails, the equine brainchild of Elaine and Robert Prior, which offers riding holidays across these moors made famous by Sherlock Holmes and more recently, Stephen Spielberg's movie, War Horse.