Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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The Refugee Foxhounds

refugee foxhounds3.scott

With the seventieth anniversary of V-E Day, May 8, 1945, just days away, we’re reminded of two sportsmen—one in America and one in England—who together tried to preserve the best bloodlines of the modern English foxhound as that type was developing and gaining acceptance over the heavy and ponderous English foxhounds of the so-called “Shorthorn Era.”

Mason Houghland, MFH of the Hillsboro Hounds (TN) and Major W.W.B. Scott, MFH of the North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK) were good friends. As Hitler invaded Poland (September, 1939), and war threatened to engulf Europe for the second time in the century, English foxhound breeders prepared yet again for their government’s mandate of destruction. (In World War I, thousands of foxhounds had been destroyed by the English authorities as a measure to conserve food and grain supplies.) Houghland received the following cablegram from Scott:

“Can you take seventeen couple of hounds for the duration of the war? Lend to friends those you have no room for. Please reply.”

Southern Hound Show Kicks Off the Season

southern hound show15.fanfare10.warner rayLive Oak Fanfare '10 is Grand Champion of the Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Michael Ledyard, Esq., MFH Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds; C. Martin Wood III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Dale Barnett, huntsman

Captain Ian W. Farquhar, MFH of the Duke of Beaufort (UK), who judged at this show seven years ago, was joined in the ring by John J. Carle II, ex-MFH of the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Ian Farquhar, huntsman for thirty-eight seasons, judged his first show forty-two years ago and has bred nineteen Peterborough champions. Jake Carle, who hunted hounds for twenty-eight seasons, has judged for over forty years at all the major hound shows in the United States. Over the course of the weekend these two very senior judges enjoyed each other immensely and got along famously in the ring despite their English and Bywaters leanings respectively. Interestingly, thirty-four ribbons were won by Crossbreds, and twenty went to English hounds. Two Champions were Crossbred, and two were English.

Virginia Foxhound Club Celebrates Sixty Years

oatlands.ohiggins jones wallace sharp haightVirginia Foxhound Show, Oatlands, 1986: Huntsman Shelly O'Higgins receives trophy from Joan Jones (now President, Virginia Foxhound Club). Judges are (l-r) Captain R.E. Wallace, MFH, Exmoor Foxhounds (UK); Bun Sharp, MB, Nantucket-Treweryn Beagles; Sherman Haight, MFH, Mr. Haight's Litchfield County Hounds.

The venerable Virginia Foxhound Club—the team that brings you the Virginia Foxhound Show each year—is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary. It seems timely to look back, evaluate the importance of hound shows in the overall scheme of foxhunting, and convince those with a passion for the sport that their membership in the Virginia Foxhound Club, no matter where in North America they hunt the fox or the coyote, is an investment that will benefit all fox hunters and their hunts.

The Virginia Foxhound Show, the largest hound show in the world, brings foxhounds of all types and all strains to the flags for viewing, comparing, and judging. Whether a Master or huntsman is seeking certain bloodlines, or an outcross to introduce hybrid vigor to the gene pool within his kennels, he sees such hounds at Virginia. And he has the opportunity to socialize and chat, in a magnificent setting, about the merits and traits of the canine objects of his desire. With your support, the best matings may continue to be made in Heaven, but they’ll be arranged in Virginia!

The Story of Old Drum

Old Drum, a black and tan foxhound whose bronze effigy stands before the courthouse in Warrensburg, Missouri, inspired an attorney’s closing argument that has endured as one of the most well-known and oft-reproduced tributes to the dog.

old drum1Bronze statue of Old Drum in Warrensburg, Missouri

One crisp October night in 1869, the music of the foxhounds was interrupted by the sound of a gunshot. Charles Burden stepped outside to listen. The hound music continued, but one voice was missing—that of his favorite dog, Drum. The next morning he went to the adjoining farm to call on his brother-in-law, Leonidas Hornsby. Hornsby had lost one hundred sheep to stray dogs and had threatened to shoot the next stray that came on his property. In answer to Burden’s questions, Hornsby claimed that his ward, Dick Ferguson, had shot a load of shelled corn at a black looking dog. The next day Burden found Drum lying dead.