Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Jim Meads, 86, Honored at Peterborough

Jim Meads, eighty-six, was honored upon his seventy years of photographing the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show (UK). It is surely a stunning achievement, considering that Jim first photographed the show in 1946, the year it was resumed after the end of World War II.

Jim was presented with a bronze fox in the Peterborough ring by Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland MFH, chairman of the show committee on July 20. Lord Annaly, ex-MFH and ring steward for many years at Peterborough made the announcement to the crowd during the ceremony.

The running photographer, familiar in his knee sox and loose green raincoat, who is often seen by astonished riders to be already photographing hounds at the earth as they arrive with steaming horses at the end of a long run, has been a popular figure in North America. He’s visited 186 times! In 2010, Foxhunting Life carried the story as Jim celebrated a personal (and probably a world) record by photographing his 500th hunt, this at the Loudoun Hunt West (VA).

In an interview with Horse and Hound, Jim admits to missing one show at Peterborough when, in 1969, he captained the Queen Mother’s Cricket Team on a tour of the Isle of Wight. He was substituting for National Hunt jockey David Nicholson, who  had fallen and broken his leg the day before the Peterborough Show. In 1948, 1949, and 1950, he had to get special twenty-four-hour passes from the Royal Air Force in order to attend.

For photos of the presentation and more details, click to read Polly Portwin’s article in Horse and Hound.

Posted July 25, 2016

California's Island Fox Rebounds From Near Extinction

island foxThe diminutive Island fox is found only on the Channel Islands off the California coast. / National Park Service photo

The island fox, a small cousin to the gray fox, is found on the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California, and nowhere else. They weigh in at three to five pounds and are about the size of a house cat.

The little fox was listed as an endangered species in 2004, when the total population had dropped by ninety percent to about two hundred remaining foxes. The population has rebounded to an estimated six thousand as of 2015 as the result of a recovery program that removed feral pigs from the islands, reduced the population of golden eagles, and introduced a captive breeding and a vaccination program against canine distemper.

Thanks to the strong comeback, last week three groups of the island fox were removed from the endangered list and one group was downgraded from endangered to threatened. Hunting is not an issue in any event, as hunting is prohibited on all the islands comprising the Channel Islands National Park.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that ninety-nine percent of all animal and plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act have been saved from extinction since the time of the law’s enactment in 1973.

Click to read the entire Reuters article by Steve Gorman.

Posted August 13, 2016

Beth Blackwell Is New Huntsman at Tryon

Tryon Hounds recently announced the hiring of Beth Blackwell as their new professional huntsman. Blackwell moves to North Carolina over these first few days of September to take over the management and hunting of Tryon’s pack of American foxhounds. She will also hunt a foot pack of Basset hounds.

Blackwell has been a professional staff member for both mounted and foot packs for the last eighteen years. Before hunting professionally, Blackwell was a professional hunter/jumper rider and trainer. She was most recently serving as professional huntsman for the Penn-Marydel pack at the De La Brooke Foxhounds (MD). That hunt now seeks a new huntsman, according to a source.

Blackwell replaces former huntsman Trey Bennett and takes over the Tryon pack for cubhunting on September 10th as that hunt begins its ninetieth season.

Posted September 5, 2016

Limestone Creek Holds Annual Parade

Limestone Creek Hunt (NY) celebrated the start of their official season with an annual Parade of Hounds. Professional huntsman Lori Gronau and staff took hounds and field from the village green, through the town, to the site of the meet.

This year, the hunt invited the Beaver Meadow Foxhounds (ON) and the Green Mountain Hounds (VT) to join the Parade of Hounds and Opening Meet, all on the morning of September 11, 2016. Before hounds moved off, a traditional Blessing of Hounds ceremony was held.

Spectators were invited to view the parade and attend the blessing. Limestone Creek is a 501(c)3 organization, and holds the annual parade and other events such as trail rides, hunter paces, foot races, hunt clinics, and hunt balls to help educate future foxhunters about the sport and about conservation, preservation, and good land stewardship.

Limestone Creek’s pack of mostly Crossbred hounds hunts fox and coyote live and follows the occasional drag. Masters are John and Barbara Anderson, Nelson and Renee Eddie, and Barbara Lindberg.

Click for the complete EagleNewsOnline article for photo and more details. For information about the Limestone Creek Hunt, visit their website, FaceBook page, or communicate via email.

Posted September 13, 2016