Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Entering Puppies at Belle Meade

The Belle Meade Hunt Masters believe that the more field members understand what huntsman and hounds are up to, the more they will enjoy each foxhunting day. To that end, Epp Wilson sends the occasional email to the membership reviewing the day’s hound work. With virtually every foxhunt in North America entering puppies right about now, here’s a timely one for all.

epp and hounds fox hunting.gianniniEpp Wilson and hounds / Lauren Giannini photo

Those of you who came out yesterday morning know how well the hounds worked. You also know that we jumped a coyote by the Foxboro Mare Barn and ran him into a culvert on an old logging road in Wilson Woods. Not only was this good training for the puppies, it was even better than one might first think.

Earlier we had drawn mostly blank except for two incidents of puppies starting what we believe were deer lines. And we were able to get them to leave those lines by hollering at them. Why do we feel confident that they were deer lines? There were numerous clues:

Seventy-Five-Year-Old Hound Manuscript Published

in search of the kerry beagle.lynch.mullinsIn Search of the Kerry Beagle by Stanislaus Lynch with a Foreword by Chris Ryan, MFH, The Scarteen HoundsA manuscript on the Kerry Beagle that languished for nearly seventy-five years has been rescued, edited, and published twenty-seven years after the author's death by Irish author and photojournalist Noel Mullins, from whom the book may now be purchased.

In Search of the Kerry Beagle by Stanislaus Lynch attempts to trace the roots of this unique breed of Irish hound, most widely known as that bred for more than four hundred years at Scarteen in County Limerick, the Black and Tans. The ancient hound is believed to have descended from hounds that swam ashore from shipwrecked Spanish boats sunk off the southwest coast of Ireland.

Grand Championship at Virginia Ends 15-Year Drought for Orange County

virginia 2017Orange County Kermit 2015, shown by huntsman Reg Spreadborough, is Grand Champion at Virginia Foxhound Show.  /  Liz Callar photo

The Grand Championship class for the coveted William W. Brainard, Jr. Perpetual Cup at the Virginia Foxhound Show finally got underway at around six p.m. It’s always an exciting class, despite the late hour on a day, May 28, 2017, that started at 9:00 a.m. for five hundred hounds and participants representing seventy hunts. Thunderstorms had struck towns all over Virginia from noontime on, but hardly a raindrop fell in Leesburg.

Four magnificent foxhounds walked out with their handlers: English, American, Crossbred, and Penn-Marydel Champions. Now they would vie for the Grand Championship of Show. Each of the four, after vanquishing all other hounds through the long day of winnowing, were obviously superb representatives of their respective breeds. In this observers view, absent any serious and previously undetected flaws in conformation, it would be a test of movement—that free-flowing, ground-covering, shock-absorbing, athletic, and energetic stride that tells the judge, “I can keep doing this day after day, year after year.”

Woodbrook Kent Is Grand Champion at Western States

WSHS2017WoodbrookKentHuntsman Jennifer Hansen and Western States Grand Champion of Show Woodbrook Kent 2014. Judges are huntsman Larry Pitts and Mary Ewing, MFH. /   Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

Honorary huntsman Jennifer Hansen credits the Woodbrook Masters who encouraged her to take hounds on a one-thousand-mile trip (each way!) from Washington State to Southern California to participate in the Western States Hound Show. It was the first time that Woodbrook had shown hounds in many years, and it was the first time Hansen ever showed hounds. And she took home the Grand Champion Foxhound of Show, Woodbrook Kent 2014.

“I was as nervous as I could be,” said Hansen, but  “I was so proud of Kent who held his stern high all day. [Judge] Mr. Pitts said, ‘That hound just can’t stand bad!’”