Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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

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.

Performance Trial a Home Run at Mission Valley

Hark Forward I"Don’t like hobbles and I can’t stand fences; Don’t fence me in!" A song that could have been written in the tallgrass prairie of Kansas. / Julie Honsinger photo

The MFHA Hark Forward Performance Trial Series took participants to the prairies of middle America, a unique experience. I love the traditional hunt countries on the East Coast with large forests and big open fields, and I also love the totally different experiences of hunting in land where it is so wide open you can literally see for miles in every direction. Here, in the wide open expanse of the Kansas prairie, field members get to see most all of the hound work.  

Mission Valley Hunt (KS) hosted this Foxhound Performance Trial over the weekend of March 2–4, 2018. Five hunts from the Midwest competed. In addition to Mission Valley, hounds were entered from Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS), Mill Creek Hunt (IL), and North Hills Hunt (NE). Guest huntsman was Angela Murray, MFH, Red Rock Hounds (NV).

The Westmeath Foxhounds at Streamstown

westmeath hounds and staff.mullinsWestmeath Foxhounds (IR) and staff: huntsman Mark Ollard (rt) and whipper-in Adam Douabbse. John Smith and Frano Derwin follow / Noel Mullins photo

The Westmeath Foxhounds, located in the Midlands of Ireland, was founded in 1854. It has had many illustrious Masters over the years such as Sam Reynell (1835-91), the Earls of Longford (1890s), Hon. Kieran Guinness (1973-76), Sir Dermot and Lady Molly Cusack Smith (1949-50), and Harry Worcester Smith (1912-13) from the USA (no relation to Sir Dermot).

Smith wanted to prove that American hounds and Thoroughbred horses could handle the Irish hunting country as well as the native horses and hounds. He was disappointed on both counts. First, the Westmeath hunt committee insisted he hunt the local pack, and second, though he was a brave and competent rider, he notched over fifty falls off his Thoroughbred horses in the course of the season!