Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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WSHS2017WoodbrookKentHuntsman Jennifer Hansen and Western States Grand Champion of Show Woodbrook Kent 2014. Judges are huntsman Larry Pitts and Mary Ewing, MFH. /   Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

Honorary huntsman Jennifer Hansen credits the Woodbrook Masters who encouraged her to take hounds on a one-thousand-mile trip (each way!) from Washington State to Southern California to participate in the Western States Hound Show. It was the first time that Woodbrook had shown hounds in many years, and it was the first time Hansen ever showed hounds. And she took home the Grand Champion Foxhound of Show, Woodbrook Kent 2014.

“I was as nervous as I could be,” said Hansen, but  “I was so proud of Kent who held his stern high all day. [Judge] Mr. Pitts said, ‘That hound just can’t stand bad!’”

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Hounds

WSHS2017WoodbrookKentHuntsman Jennifer Hansen and Western States Grand Champion of Show Woodbrook Kent 2014. Judges are huntsman Larry Pitts and Mary Ewing, MFH. /   Nancy Stevens-Brown photo

Honorary huntsman Jennifer Hansen credits the Woodbrook Masters who encouraged her to take hounds on a one-thousand-mile trip (each way!) from Washington State to Southern California to participate in the Western States Hound Show. It was the first time that Woodbrook had shown hounds in many years, and it was the first time Hansen ever showed hounds. And she took home the Grand Champion Foxhound of Show, Woodbrook Kent 2014.

“I was as nervous as I could be,” said Hansen, but  “I was so proud of Kent who held his stern high all day. [Judge] Mr. Pitts said, ‘That hound just can’t stand bad!’”

Western States was hosted this year by the Tejon Hounds (CA) at the Tejon Ranch Equestrian Center on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Retired huntsman Larry Pitts was senior judge, and Mary Ewing, MFH, Arapahoe Hunt, was apprentice judge.

A Crossbred dog hound, Woodbrook Kent is by Mooreland Eclipse 2009 ex Cornwall Kiera 2008. Kent is mostly Mooreland breeding on the top half and Fox River Valley bloodlines on the bottom half, with an important contribution from Midland.

Kent’s dam Kiera, is by Fox River Valley Keg 2005, a Grand Champion at Virginia in his time, as was his dam Fox River Valley Secretary 1999.

The dam Kiera also goes back in tail female to the highly prepotent Midland Kate 1995. The Midland K-line starting with Kate has produced more Champion foxhounds than Mason Lampton can count!


Hansen says that falling into the huntsman’s position at Woodbrook was one of the great fortunes in her life. Starting out in May, 2014, however, the hunt was seriously in need of hounds. With the help of Andrew Barclay and Tony Leahy, MFH, Hansen arranged a trip to Illinois to obtain some drafts. Barclay and Leahy connected her with Brenda Yost, huntsman at Mill Creek Hunt, and Fred Iozza, MFH and huntsman at Wayne-DuPage Hunt.

“Tami Masters [MFH, Woodbrook] and I flew home from Chicago with six hounds,” Hansen recalls.

“Kent was the only unentered hound we brought home, and he was the youngest hound in our kennel by far. As I headed into my first season as huntsman, only one hound in our pack had any previous experience hunting a drag!

“I consider Kent a gift from Mr. Leahy. He was going to be a great hound in any kennel. I think he is athletic and has enough nose to hunt coyote with the best in any country. Thankfully, he continues to be amused by pleasing me and hunting the drag, and my foxes work hard to keep our hounds entertained with the lines they lay. The first time we took him out on horseback I had to get off my horse and walk with him, and since that day he broke through his shyness and has never slowed down. By the end of his first season he was often out in front and the first hound to find the worry at the end of a line. Now going into his fourth season, Kent is honest, biddable, and his light color makes him easy to see in our heavy country. He’s a wonderful hound in every way, and a favorite of our membership. Everyone knows his name!”

Being Grand Champion of Show, a lot more people will know his name. Other participating hunts at Western States were Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ), Kingsbury Harriers, Los Altos Hounds, (CA), Red Rock Hounds (NV), Santa Fe West Hills Hunt, (CA), Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), and Tejon Hounds.

The Woodbrook Hunt was established in Washington State in 1925 and is the oldest hunt west of the Mississippi. The drag hunt was recognized by the MFHA in 1962 and has recently undergone a changing of the guard,” wrote Tami Masters, MFH in  an earlier article. “Huntsman Jennifer Hansen has brought about much newfound energy and enthusiasm to the clubhouse and to the hunting field.”

Posted June 22, 2017

brazos valley mysticBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 / Liz Callar photoBrazos Valley Mystic 2010 was judged Grand Champion of the Southwest Hound Show for the third consecutive year, matching his sire’s outstanding performance there. The show was held on April 20, 2013 at Greenwood Farms in Weatherford, Texas.

Mystic’s success is no stroke of luck; he’s the product of a royal breeding engineered by Brazos Valley MFH Sandy Dixon. She put her own sire—Brazos Valley Catfish 2006—to a Potomac-bred bitch that she entered in 2006—Brazos Valley Meadow.

Catfish won three consecutive Grand Championships at the Southwest Hound Show in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and Meadow brought her own credentials from Maryland. She was bred by Potomac huntsman Larry Pitts and is by Potomac Jefferson, Grand Champion of both the Virginia Foxhound Show and the Bryn Mawr Hound Show in 2007. Jefferson was knockout handsome.

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kuenzi.heatherThe authorPicture this: four hunts—Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Full Cry Hounds (AL), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ),and Mill Creek Hunt (IL)—bringing their best three couple of hounds to the field; thirty-five enthusiastic mounted riders; and sweeping vistas of open hunting country loaded with coyotes. This made for an action-packed five days of foxhunting activities consisting of a three-day Foxhound Performance Trial, foot hunting with the bassets, and a joint meet of foxhounds. It all took place at the  Flint Hills Invitational Performance Trial, held on March 7-9, 2012, generously hosted by the Moingona Hunt staff and members. The Flint Hills area of Kansas is an immense rolling prairie of tallgrass and recognized as one of America’s unique treasures.

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Ridgecrest_-_Shawn_Lloyd_-_13Joy Smith leads the Leisure Field on Kindred. By A.P. Indy, Kindred sold at Keeneland in 2006 for one million dollars, but has since found more satisfying employment.  /  Shawn Lloyd photoGreat ideas are sometimes borne of desperation.

I was desperate to get back on a horse after a lumbar fracture at the beginning of the hunting season. Having already sat out much of the season. I just couldn’t resist riding at the annual joint meet in Ridgecrest, California. Hounds and members of Red Rock Hounds (NV), Kingsbury Harriers, Santa Ynez Valley Hounds (CA), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ), Paradise Valley Beagles (AZ), as well as members of several eastern hunts all come together for three days of hunting, eating, drinking, and mingling with great friends and fantastic animals.

Riding was definitely not on my list of “can do” activities, but give me a quiet horse and a promise to only walk then no harm can be done, right?

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