with Horse and Hound

Virginia Mourns Loss of Mary South Hutchison

mary south.leesDouglas Lees photoMary South Hutchison, a powerful presence in the world of Virginia foxhunting, died suddenly on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Mary South—as she was known to visitors and members of the Orange County Hounds, exhibitors at the Virginia Foxhound Show, and members of the Virginia Foxhound Club—served the Orange County Hounds as Honorary Secretary for about twenty years and the Virginia Foxhound Club as Treasurer for about the same period of time.

“I don’t know what we’ll do without her,” Orange County MFH John Coles said. “Hers was a life dedicated to the sport. She was a traditionalist, and kept things in line for us.”

Coles’s Joint-Master Malcolm Matheson agreed. “She was the eyes and ears of the Masters in the field,” he said. “She didn’t mind stating her opinions, good or bad!”

He paused, then chuckled remembering. “And she was fearless,” he said. “One time hounds struck on the other side of a five-foot stone wall. She was one of only four field members to jump that wall. Even Melvin went around! We four had the hounds all to ourselves until the others caught up.”

jimmymary south.leesHunting with the late Jimmy Young, MFH, Orange County in 1996 / Douglas Lees photo

Mary South Hutchison lived in Middleburg and worked as a real estate agent. She had been battling cancer, but she was out and active right to the end, even closing on a property just three days before her death. The suddenness has shocked her community.

Joan Jones recently stepped down as president of the Virginia Foxhound Club, the organization that puts on the Virginia Foxhound Show. She and Mary South as treasurer have been the faces of the hound show for a good twenty years or so. With the show approaching in May, Joan finds herself trying to get a handle on all the financial matters, including the vendor spaces, that Mary South has for so long managed. Joan echoed Master Coles’s words to the letter.

“I don’t know how we’ll get along without her,” she said.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 in Middleburg.

Posted April 7, 2013

mary south2.leesFloat tubing on the Shenandoah River with photographer Douglas Lees