Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Sally Young (1942-2015)

sally young.leesDouglas Lees photoSally Fendall Harrison Young of Marshall, Virginia, died peacefully on October 1, 2015 at age seventy-two. Her beloved husband of fifty-two years, James L. Young, MFH, Orange County Hounds (VA), predeceased her in 2012.

Back in their day, when Melvin was still hunting the Orange County hounds, my phone would ring. “When are you coming out to play with us?” Sally would ask. Joan and I would be there the next hunting day. Jimmy led the field, and if he always seemed to be well-mounted, it was probably thanks to Sally’s schooling.

Sally was born on October 16, 1942, in Leesburg, Virginia to the late Stirling and Hester Ann Harrison. She was a graduate of The Gunston School in Centreville, Maryland, and a member of Daughters of the American Revolution. A dedicated horsewoman, Sally’s passion began as a toddler and continued throughout her life. She was a member of numerous foxhunting and equine associations, including the Loudoun Hunt, the Orange County Hunt, Virginia Trail Riding Association and the Virginia Foxhounds Association.

Her sisters, Hester Ann Glans and Nancy L. Riner, also predeceased her.

Survivors include her sons, Stirling H. Young and James R. Young; a sister, Elizabeth H. Goulart; four grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 16, 2015—her birthday—at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Morven Park Equestrian Center or the Museum of Hounds & Hunting at the Westmoreland Davis Memorial  Foundation, Morven Park, 17195 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, Va. 20178, Attention: S. Musgrave.

Click to offer online condolences.

Posted October 7, 2015

Managing Flies on the Horse farm

Researchers have discovered a species of tiny wasp that may prove to be a sustainable way of managing fly population on horse farms without the use of insecticides.

Preferring horse manure over cattle manure, a lab study showed that the Spalangia female wasp inserts her eggs into fly puparium in the manure. When her eggs hatch, the wasp larvae eat the fly pupae. (Another wasp species, the Muscidifurax, appears to prefer bovine manure to equine manure!)

The two species of parasitic wasps are sold commercially. The authors of the study also provide advice on when, how, and how many wasps should be released.

The paper was published by the Entomological Society of America in their Journal of Integrated Pest Management, written for farmers, ranchers, and extension professionals.

Journal Reference:
Erika T. Machtinger, Christopher J. Geden, Phillip E. Kaufman, Amanda M. House. “Use of Pupal Parasitoids as Biological Control Agents of Filth Flies on Equine Facilities.” Journal of Integrated Pest Management, September 2015 DOI: 10.1093/jipm/pmv015

Posted September 24, 2015

Downton Abbey Conclusion Will Air Foxhunting "Issue"

By now most of us have heard (and shed tears) that the upcoming season of Downton Abbey will conclude the five-year series. The final season promises to resolve all those Grantham family dramas that have captivated viewers in 250 countries.

Through a single family, we have witnessed the British aristocracy and its seemingly inviolate traditions crumble in the path of world events through the first half of the twentieth century. We have cared greatly about the characters, some of whom have been able to accept the inexorable changes, while other could not. Just like in real life.

World wars, endemic class distinctions, and social revolution may have been the major glaciers that scoured Britain, reshaping the social landscape, but caught up in the crush of these events was the sport of foxhunting. Although storylines for the final episodes are still under wraps, it has been disclosed that foxhunting promises to be one of the contemporary themes of relevance to be aired.

Click for more in The Independent.

Posted August 14, 2015

Fort Leavenworth Home to Only Military Foxhunt

The Fort Leavenworth Hunt (KS) is the only MFHA-registered hunt under military auspices. Every August, the hunt holds a free foxhunting camp—Eight Easy Lessons—to review riding and hunting customs for the benefit of current and potential members, according to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.

Organized in 1926 by the U.S. Tenth Cavalry Regiment, the Fort Leavenworth Hunt kennels are still on the Fort. Members hunt the coyote mostly on Fort Leavenworth lands in the region where the Santa Fe Trail begins. Hunt subscribers are military personnel, their families, as well as civilians.

The first two of the eight lessons are riding lessons in which riding skills of the participants are evaluated. The third lesson involves riding drills. The fourth lesson is an informational session about the hunt and its traditions, and the remaining lessons are mounted lessons in the hunting country. The hunt offers four fields to mounted participants.

Before World War II, nearly every major Army post had its own hunt. Today the Fort Leavenworth Hunt is the last remaining U.S. military-affiliated fox hunt. The Crossbred pack is cared for and trained by Stephanie Wilcox, MFH and huntsman. Because Kansas law limits foxhunting, hounds chase only coyotes now.

Throughout the hunt’s history, numerous military leaders participated in the hunt, including General Jonathan Wainwright, MFH in 1929, and General George Patton. The hounds, first cared for by the 10th Cavalry Regiment or Buffalo Soldiers, chased foxes and coyotes on post.

Click for the complete Fort Leavenworth Lamp article.

Posted September 24, 2015

Scottish National Party Delays Attempt to Relax Hunting Ban

In a reversal of expectations, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has threatened to oppose the pro-hunting effort to relax a key provision of the Hunting Act in England. The SNP move appears to doom chances of passage.

As Foxhunting Life reported last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron, a former foxhunter, decided not to test the Hunting Act with a free vote in Parliament for a total reversal—an effort that would consume much Parliamentary time with questionable chance of success—but to attempt a statutory change instead. Cameron's proposal would relax a key provision of the Act and consume only ninety minutes of Parliamentary time before a vote.

Pro-hunting factions believed they had a chance of success, having been assured by SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon that the party would refrain from voting since it was an English issue. However, pressure from the party's anti-hunting constituents in Scotland persuaded SNP MPs to announce their readiness to participate in the vote and defeat the bill. The SNP reversal is somewhat surprising in that the statutory change sought by Cameron would, if passed, bring the foxhunting laws in England more in line with those in Scotland.

In the wake of the SNP turnabout, Cameron will delay this week's planned introduction of his proposal to amend the Hunting Act. The ramifications of pursuing his original course now transcend the relatively unimportant (to most) subject of foxhunting and enter the more explosive realm of Scottish independence. If Cameron goes ahead with the vote, and if SNP MPs vote with the Labour Party as threatened, a new precedent of SNP votes on purely English matters will be set, and renewed pressure could arise on fragile Scottish-English unity.  

Read more details in The Guardian article by Rowena Mason and Libby Brooks and the more recent AP report.

Posted July 14, 2015
Updated July 15, 2015