Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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American Rider, 70, Wins Mongol Derby

bob longAmerican western horseman Bob Long wins eleventh running of the Mongol Derby. / Sarah Farnsworth photo

There are crazy things to do. And then there’s the Mongol Derby.

Foxhunters have been known to compete in the Mongol Derby, as if the post-and-rail line fences in Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire country, the wire in New Zealand, the banks and ditches of Ireland, or the hedges of the English Shires aren’t enough of a challenge. The Mongol Derby, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is the world’s longest and toughest horse race. This year forty-five men and women from eleven countries gathered to race one thousand kilometers (621 miles) across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.

Finishing strongly, seventy-year-old Robert Long, originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming but now living in Boise, Idaho, was the undisputed winner of this year’s race. Long reached the finish at 11:03 am Mongolian time on August 14, 2019, seven days after the starting gun. Competitors will continue to cross the finish line for another three days.

Lampton’s Alternate Sporting Life

masonlampton.smallMason Lampton, MFHMason Lampton, a long-serving leader of the sport of foxhunting in North America and MFH of the Midland Fox Hounds (GA), has another sporting life. His alternate Field of Dreams to the hunting field is a polo field. The phrase, “If you build it they will come,” must have rattled around in his head for a while before he decided to transform a fallow potato field in Northern Michigan into a first-rate polo field.

This year, having completed its eighth season, Bliss Polo is bringing players and spectators to matches all the way to the northernmost shores of Lake Michigan. Near the Straits of Mackinac. Who would have thought?

Captain Ronnie Wallace: In Memory and In Awe

ronnie wallace.michael lyneCaptain Ronnie Wallace with hounds while Master of the Heythrop / Oil portrait by Michael Lyne

Captain Ronnie Wallace, MFH, was the undisputed dean of British foxhunting for the entire latter half of the twentieth century. A Master of Foxhounds for more than fifty consecutive years, he was a genius in the art of venery, possessed a mystical connection with hounds, and was revered for his uncanny breeding sense. He was arguably the English breeder most influential in the development of today’s modern English foxhound.

It’s been sixteen years since Captain Wallace died in an automobile accident at age eighty-two. We have remembered the Captain in previous articles, but as we hear more personal and first-hand stories of his inexplicable feats with foxhounds, his legend merits revisiting.

From the Foreign Office to the Hunting Field

shannon mackenzie2.doug leesShannon MacKenzie's professional life progressed from the confines of the office to the open spaces. /  Douglas Lees photoThe horse industry is historic, even old-fashioned; the foxhunting world is more so. But follow Shannon MacKenzie’s journey from her native Canada to Virginia’s storied hunting country, and find a surprisingly modern twist to the tale. Facebook played a part.

MacKenzie first found out via a Facebook chat last year about an open slot for a professional first whipper-in at the Old Dominion Hounds (VA). It was a job she felt her skill set would serve, but it was a position she’d never held.