By common agreement among hunts and professional hunt staff, April 30/May 1 is the long-accepted transition date for hunt staff changes. In a round robin of moves, the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA), Camden Hunt (SC), and Old Dominion Hounds (VA) all connected and cooperated in making changes for the upcoming season effective this date.
After two seasons as second whipper-in at Blue Ridge, Ross Salter was hired by Old Dominion to whip-in to professional huntsman Gerald Keal there.
With that opening and huntsman Dennis Downing having given his notice of resignation to be effective one year from now, April 30, 2012, the Blue Ridge Masters looked to the future and hired Chad Wilkes, Camden huntsman for the past nine seasons, as kennel huntsman. Wilkes will whip-in to Downing during that huntsman’s last season at Blue Ridge.
Downing looks forward to continuing hunting hounds, but has not yet decided where that will be.
To fill the huntsman’s opening at Camden, the Camden Masters brought back former huntsman Kurt Krucke. Krucke hunted the Camden hounds from 1996 to 2004, most recently serving as huntsman for the Tennessee Valley Hunt (last season) and the Flat Branch Foxhounds in Aiken, South Carolina for six seasons.
Posted May 1, 2011