Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Wentworth Hunt Enjoys Good Hunting on Opening Day

wentworth.stacy howe.james mertzStacy Howe provides bagpipe music during Wentworth Hunt's Opening Meet ceremonies. / James Mertz, Suddenly Still Photography

The Wentworth Hunt opened its formal foxhunting season on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Yorkfield Farm in Kensington, New Hampshire. The Blessing of the Hounds was led by Wentworth Hunt member and Pastor David Maguire. Bagpipe music was provided by Stacy Howe. The light drizzle and forty-seven degree temperatures deterred neither the twenty-six riders, horses, hounds, spectators, and supporters nor our “fox,” Michelle Myrdek, who laid the drag.

Huntsman Rachel Duffy hacked down and across the road and sent hounds into a fully mature cornfield, while the field skirted northeast around the perimeter. Our strike hound, De La Brooke Vernon ’13, found early then lost. Hounds worked quickly through the tall, wet corn, and we soon heard Vernon open again, honored by Moore County Zombie ’13 and soon others. Hounds burst out of the corn, hunted through a thin covert, and into a large hayfield where the field was treated to a spectacular view of the pack working in the tall grass. The hounds soon accounted for their “fox” near an old cemetery and were praised.

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds Welcomes the Hark Forward Tour

cheshire.magner foxhounds.barb smithHuntsman Barry Magner collects hounds.  /  Barbara Smith photo

The fourth Friendship Meet on the Hark Forward Tour of scheduled hunts and performance trials was at Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds in Unionville, Pennsylvania. During the month of September we traveled a distance of three thousand miles and visited nine hunts.

The Cheshire is revered as one of the best foxhunting establishments in North America, renowned for big fences, protected countryside, and a distinguished history. When you hunt here, everyone asks, “Did you jump the line fences?” Yes, we jumped one of the line fences first! Everyone spreads out and picks a panel of three-rail fencing and off you go, foxhunting with Cheshire!

The Donegal Harriers at Beltrim Castle, County Tyrone

donegal harriers.mullinsDonegal Harriers president and honorary whipper-in Ger O’Riain, MFH and Dr. Lucinda Blakiston-Houston, honorary whipper-in and hostess of the meet at Beltrim Castle in County Tyrone  /   Noel Mullins photo.

The Donegal Harriers, formed in 1999, is a relatively new pack by Irish standards. It is also the first pack of registered harriers in County Donegal, the northernmost county in the west of Ireland, replacing the Strabane Foxhounds that hunted the country until 1977.

The pack was meeting in Gortin in the Owenkillew River Valley on the outskirts of Omagh, over the border in County Tyrone. Upon visiting, first impressions could easily lead to the conclusion that the only significant activities in this quiet, remote, rustic village was Mossey’s Bar, Pedlar’s Cafe, and a Farmer’s Market on a Monday! But scratching beneath the surface, there is a rare gem in Beltrim Castle, built in 1780.

Bridlespur Hunt Celebrates 90th Anniversary

hartwell.eleanor.sizedHuntsman Eleanor Hartwell and the foxhounds of the Bridlespur Hunt

This year, 2017, marks the ninetieth season for the Bridlespur Hunt Club (MO). The Club has survived two World Wars, loss of land, uprooting of hounds and clubhouse, and hopefully will endure for another ninety years at least. Over the years, the Hunt has been honored by the patronship and Mastership of wonderfully dedicated individuals.

Bridlespur was founded in 1927 with the support and assistance of the late Mr. August A. Busch, Sr., president of Anheuser-Busch and brewer of what is still the most popular beer in the U.S. Mr. Busch obtained his original draft of hounds from the well-known Joseph B. Thomas1-Percy Rockefeller pack at Overhills, North Carolina. The pack consisted entirely of American hounds or, as better known, Virginia Hounds. By careful breeding and observation the two guiding spirits of the hunt, Mr. August A. Busch, Jr.2 and Mr. Adelbert von Gontard, Sr., developed a pack with most excellent nose and voice. Today, the pack consists mainly of Crossbred hounds.