Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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FHL wants your hunt reports! Stories and photos. Submit yours here.

In Praise of the Penn-Marydel

pmd1.gretchen pelhamGretchen Pelham photo

While packing hounds to the first covert on an autumn hunting morning a couple of seasons ago, I quickly noticed the absence of spider webs laying in the morning dew that so often are the bane of scenting here in the excessively drained sandy soils of my hunting country. Sure enough that harbinger proved accurate when precocious ten-month-old Dooley opened on riot, indicating that scenting conditions were indeed optimal. Whippers-in were out on point, so I had to break out my shooting iron to get the attention of the easily swayed new entry that joined the persistent Dooley.

After counting all twenty-five-and-a-half couple and telling them how disappointed in them I was, I moved from Manly Crossing and recast them into Cow Head. That particular cast was mostly to settle them down and perhaps jump another deer, as that location offers the opportunity for quick correction.

Hunting In the Footsteps of Irish History

duhallow.liscarroll castleThirteenth century Liscarroll Castle in the Duhallow hunting country, near the site of the Battle of Liscarroll in 1642.

There are certain days that stand out in the sporting calendar, Gold Cup day in Cheltenham, Aga Khan day at the Royal Dublin Show, the Maryland Hunt Cup in the USA, Munster final in Thurles (especially if Cork and Tipperary are playing), but ranking at least equal to any of these must be a meet of the Duhallow in Liscarroll. The Duhallow kennels are nearby, and huntsman Ger Withers is a native of the parish so it could be described as their spiritual home. As if all this weren’t enough, longstanding hunt chairman Pat Fleming farms nearby, and the Flemings have been farming in Liscarroll since the Battle of Liscarroll around 1642.

The County Limerick Foxhounds at Kilmallock

co limerick.foxhounds.powerThe well-bred Old English foxhounds of the County Limerick continue to show exciting sport. The Limerick breeding program has been closely associated with that of the Belvoir (UK) since the Mastership of Lord Daresbury beginning in the mid-twentieth century. / Catherine Power photo

Reports on hunting with The Counties, as the County Limerick Foxhounds are locally referred to, have been glowing with stories of one red letter day following hard on the heels of another. So it was with some sense of anticipation we joined last Saturday’s meet at the mart yard in Kilmallock.

There were over sixty mounted, including several U.S. visitors. From the Midland Fox Hounds in Georgia came Mason Lampton, Jr, MFH, with his two sons Whitney and younger brother Henry—great-grandchildren of the famous foxhunter, Ben Hardaway, who at age ninety-eight passed away only recently. Organizers of the American expedition were Richard and Lilith Boucher, steeplechase jockey and trainer from Camden, South Carolina, and their daughter Mell.

March Madness Joint Meet with Bull Run and Farmington

fhc.greg schwartz and field.suttonRetired Bull Run huntsman Greg Schwartz leads the second flight. / Elizabeth H. Sutton photoFarmington Hunt's participation in March Madness Week at Bull Run Hunt started with a lot of questions. Hounds had not hunted in a week. Would they be up to the task of more open country and multiple game—fox and coyote? Did they have what it takes to give the sporting Bull Run field and their March Madness visitors a good day’s hunting? Would renegades riot?

These questions nagged at some of the Farmington Hunt members and staff as we assembled at Horseshoe Farm in Rapidan, Virginia with  twelve-and-a-half couple and a good gang of members. Three huntsmen and former huntsmen from further north said to me, “Well, you all will have to up your game today,” as we kidded about the lack of action that had been experienced on the three previous days due primarily to the weather.