Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Remembering the Curre on Boxing Day

modernModern English Foxhound: Duke of Beaufort's Monmouth 1977 by New Forest Medyg 1969shorthorn era Peterborough champion 1926.daphne moore Peterborough winner of the early 1900s --- thick and ponderous --- an example of the style of foxhound favored at the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands of foxhunters and hunt supporters are expected to turn out in England and Wales on Boxing Day. Young and old, riders and spectators alike, entire families together for the holidays tumble out-of-doors the morning after Christmas for these traditionally celebrated meets.

“It’s the highlight of the season which starts in November,” said Peter Swann, MFH of the Curre and Llangibby Foxhounds in Wales. “This year we are expecting forty riders to take part and around five hundred spectators and supporters to join us on the green.

In Wales, the Curre and Llangibby and the Monmouthshire Foxhounds trace back to the 1600s and 1700s. The Curre remains of particular significance to foxhunters because we still see and enjoy the results of Sir Edward Curre’s bloodlines in our own Crossbreds and modern English foxhounds to this day.

It was Sir Edward Curre who provided Isaac “Ikey” Bell, father of the modern English foxhound, with the Welsh blood and the pale coloration of his breeding that has been preserved and carried on by forward-looking breeders in England ever since. Bell’s vision of the foxhound finally prevailed over the thick and ponderous, black-and-tan colored foxhounds that were fashionable early in the twentieth century. Bell’s efforts to breed lighter and more athletic foxhounds fell so afoul of the foxhunting establishment of the time that leading Masters would cross the street to avoid having to greet him.

Extend Your Weekend Sport with a Foot Pack

ashland bassets1The Ashland Bassets  /  Susan Monticelli photoWhen not following foxhounds on horseback, many foxhunters and their like-minded friends can be found following their local basset or beagle pack on foot—a perfect way to continue enjoying sport and a country lifestyle. Any foxhunter who thrills to the cry of foxhounds and hasn’t yet heard a pack of bassets in full cry must try a day’s hunting behind these wonderful hounds!

Even after dismounting from the saddle on a Saturday, many still yearn to hunt on before returning to an office on Monday. There are others who have hung up their tack for various reasons, and some who have never hunted astride yet love being outdoors on fall and winter afternoons. For all these sportsmen and women, the Ashland Bassets—hunting the territories of the Casanova, Old Dominion, Orange County, and Warrenton foxhound packs in Virginia—have provided a welcome window through which to extend one's weekend enjoyment of the countryside and venery.

A Storybook Ending for Live Oak Charter

charter and tylerCharter and Tyler / Cynthia Daily photo

The odyssey of Live Oak Charter—the frightened foxhound that escaped from the Virginia Foxhound Show last May, traveled from Leesburg to Middleburg (more than twenty miles as the crow flies), crossed two major four-lane highways, subsisted on whatever food he could find, lost part of his tongue and shattered his jaw—finally ended after six long months in Hollywood’s finest style.

Charter has been adopted by the vet tech that cared for him at Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates. He lives on a hundred-acre farm, sleeps on his new owner’s bed, and runs long distances with him every day. Charter’s survival literally “took a village,” and Live Oak MFHs Daphne and Marty Wood, who supported and monitored the efforts of so many dedicated people from afar, couldn’t be happier.

New England Hunts Hound Trails

ne trails oldMasters, staff, and hounds at the 1926 New England Hound Trails in front of the Bowditch mansion. John Bowditch was MFH of the Millwood Hunt in Framingham, MA.

Yes, we've got the spelling right. Trails, not Trials. It's a race to prove which hunt can field the fastest and most accurate hounds following a drag scent, and it's been a fixture of the New England foxhunting scene since 1923.

Each hunt may enter up to 2 couple of hounds. Competing hounds may be cheered on and handled by their staff at the starting line, but at no other point in the race. Patrol judges are stationed at strategic places to penalize hounds that skirt or cheat (i.e., take shortcuts off the true line to get closer to the front runner).