Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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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!

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