Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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My Hound Training Program:Well-Intentioned But Misguided

marjolaine botsfordMarj Botsford would winter the hunt's puppies again, but do it differently!A few years ago, the Ottawa Valley Hunt (ON) huntsman at the time, Mr. Adrian Quick, made a request for volunteer families interested in being sponsors for hound puppies over the winter. My husband and I volunteered to take on two puppies. We are animal lovers and were between canines at the time.

In late November, the puppies arrived—Hamish and Hawkesbury. They were about six months old. Being familiar with family dogs and not hounds, we asked Adrian if there was anything in particular that we should know about foxhounds. His advice was to feed them lots of proteins. We knew that hounds are working animals and not family pets so we prepared a stall in the barn for them. Feeding proteins was not a problem as my brother has a dairy farm and a side business selling beef; therefore we had access to all the organ meat the hounds needed.

Toronto and North York Farquhar Is Grand Champion at Canada

 farquhar trophy denyaCanadian Grand Champion Farquhar with (l–r) Apprentice Judge Katherine Selby, huntsman, Green Mountain Hounds (VT); Judge Dr. Jon Moody, MFH, Mooreland Hunt (AL); Toronto and North York huntsman John Harrison; Mrs. Alice Tyacke; and Judge Richard Tyacke, MFH and huntsman, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s (UK). /  Denya Massey photo

Toronto and North York Farquhar 2014 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Canadian Foxhound Show on Saturday, June 18, 2016. This was the third Grand Championship for the hunt in the last three years.

It has to be exceptionally gratifying to John Harrison, who returned as huntsman just two years ago, as all three grand champions go back to bloodlines he introduced to the pack during his earlier term as huntsman twenty years ago. Common to the pedigrees of all three, going back three generations, is Toronto and North York Crafty 1995 by their Freedom 1992.

In 1995, while Harrison was hunting the Toronto and North York pack in his first stint (1991 to 1996), he received a draft from the Berkeley (UK). One was Ballad 1987, who arrived in whelp to Berkeley Freshman 1984. Freshman was by Captain Ronnie Wallace’s Exmoor Freestone 1981. “Freestone is the key,” Harrison said.

Old English Hounds Thriving at Irish National Hound Show

PHOTO HOUNDS County Louth Old English hound shown by huntsman Alan ReillyPair of Old English hounds. County Louth hound (foreground) shown by huntsman Alan Reilly / Noel Mullins photo

The Irish National Hound Show at Stradbally Hall, County Laois, Ireland keeps growing in both entries and spectators. This year the weather also played a positive role as hound enthusiasts were often three deep along the ringside, and a large number lingered and socialised long after the show was over.

Competition was keen in the foxhound ring where judge Nigel Peel, a well-known hunting correspondent himself (and a member of Foxhunting Life’s Panel of Experts), commented that the Old English hounds were some of the finest he has judged either in Ireland or in the UK, and the Modern English Hounds had real quality as well.

The Old English (or Traditionally-Bred) hounds and the Modern English hounds are judged separately in their own classes, but the winners of those classes come up against each other in the final championship classes for dogs and bi*ches.* On occasion the Old English hounds being bred today will prevail.

Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015 Is Grand Champion Foxhound at Bryn Mawr

Bryn Mawr 2016 brh wentworthBryn Mawr 2016 Champion Foxhound of Show is Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015. Huntsman Graham Buston (right) shows Wentworth; Cheri Buston holds the lead. Judge Ian Farquahar, MFH, Duke of Beaufort's (UK) explains to the spectators the points of conformation upon which he bases his decision. / Chris Cancelli photo

Displaying activity, purpose, and movement while chasing the biscuit, Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015 staked his claim to the Midland Foxhound Trophy for Champion Foxhound of Show at the Bryn Mawr Hound Show on Saturday, June 4, 2016. It was no walk-away for the first-year English hound from Blue Ridge. He faced stiff competition from the other division champions, one of which was the Crossbred, Midland Striker, who came to Bryn Mawr having already been judged Grand Champion in two of this season’s sanctioned hound shows. Striker was Reserve Champion this day.

The class was judged by Ian Farquhar, MFH and huntsman of the Duke of Beaufort’s Foxhounds (UK). Farquhar was careful to explain to the spectators, using the hounds as examples, how he evaluated conformation and came to his decision.