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 Golden Age of Hunting?

henry alken.the finishThe Finish by Henry Alken

Foxhunters often evoke the nineteenth century as the belle-époque of English foxhunting. This may have to do with the extensive documentation provided by the famous artists and writers of the time. The efforts of Nimrod, Alken, and friends immortalized an age of rollicking runs across open countryside, dashing horsemen and women, and fine stout foxes flying across hill and dale.

Whilst The Golden Age as it is known has long since provided a benchmark of foxhunting excellence and excitement, we note that today’s foxhunters are blessed with some decided advantages.

A Visitor's View

Cubbing with the BSV 2010It was an unrivalled invitation: to spend two months hunting in the United States with Anne McIntosh, MFH of the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA). As a hunting-mad Brit who’d grown up with the West Country packs of my native Somerset, I was intrigued to learn about the tradition of the sport on the other side of the pond.

Coming over to help with Anne’s horses, I took particular interest in the type and manners of what I would usually call hunters, soon learning they were called field hunters stateside. What struck me was their condition. A sunny American summer was as evident in the bloom on these horses’ coats as in the suntans on their riders! The fact that the majority of these horses also live out throughout the hunting season (which would be impossible with our muddy British winters) I think contributed to their impeccable manners and relaxed temperaments.

Cheltenham Week -- On the Inside

cheltenhamSteeplechasing is hugely popular in England, and the Cheltenham Festival equates to our Triple Crown, Breeder’s Cup, and Gold Cup all rolled into one. So when I spoke with George Wagner, who runs Horse Racing Trips Worldwide in Ontario and takes groups to the great races of the world, I latched onto Cheltenham as the trip for foxhunters.

"Sixty thousand racing fans come for championship week at Cheltenham, half of whom are Irish!" says Wagner.

Now if that isn’t a recipe for a good time, I don’t know what is.

The Road Warriors: Day Twelve

Day_12_East_Coast_or__Bust
John makes a sign for the truck window: East Coast or Bust

Photojournalist Betsy Parker, her friend Beth Rera, and Beth’s seven-year-old son John embarked some days ago on a cross-country horse-hauling odyssey—Virginia to California—to include a West Coast summer vacation tour. Since Betsy can be counted on for compelling copy and excellent photography, FHL decided to go along for the ride. Betsy’s earlier reports may be found under the Horse and Hound drop-down menu/Travel.

Beth was the one who first noticed.

Since Utah on the way out, we’ve been in high desert sierra or rocky mountain morraine. It is beautiful out west, but verdant and lush it isn’t.

Yesterday we stopped over at a horse hotel just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve grown accustomed to the western horse-keeping style: outdoor covered stall attached to a twelve-by-twelve-square-foot paddock. And that’s all. No communal pastures, not a blade of grass, no group turnout. It’s not wrong or bad, just different.