Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Keswick Hunt

keswick

Keswick, Virginia

Website: www.keswickhuntclub.com


carolinas19Grand Champion of Show, Bedford County Detroit 2017 with handler Laura Pitts.The 2019 Carolinas Hound Show was hosted by the Moore County Hounds on May 11th at Lyell’s Meadow in the Walthour Moss Foundation, a paradise for horsemen and naturalists in the sand hills of Southern Pines, NC. The Foundation was formed in 1974 by Pappy and Ginny Moss, MFHs of the Moore County Hounds (NC), as a charitable trust of 1,700 acres preserved in perpetuity. With additional gifts through the succeeding years from Ginny Moss and others, the Foundation now totals more than 4,000 acres and represents Moore County’s principal hunting country.

Hounds competed in three rings, Crossbred in Ring 1, Penn-Marydel in Ring 2, and English, American, and Foot packs in Ring 3. That one ring is dedicated entirely to Penn-Marydel hounds, and English and American foxhounds are combined in one ring with foot hounds, strikes this reporter as a noteworthy indication of the growing affinity for Penn-Marydel foxhounds amongst North American hunts well outside of the breed’s native region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Concomitantly, the consequence must be a reduction in the numbers of Pure English and American types now being hunted in these southern Atlantic states.

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Hounds

carolinas19Grand Champion of Show, Bedford County Detroit 2017 with handler Laura Pitts.The 2019 Carolinas Hound Show was hosted by the Moore County Hounds on May 11th at Lyell’s Meadow in the Walthour Moss Foundation, a paradise for horsemen and naturalists in the sand hills of Southern Pines, NC. The Foundation was formed in 1974 by Pappy and Ginny Moss, MFHs of the Moore County Hounds (NC), as a charitable trust of 1,700 acres preserved in perpetuity. With additional gifts through the succeeding years from Ginny Moss and others, the Foundation now totals more than 4,000 acres and represents Moore County’s principal hunting country.

Hounds competed in three rings, Crossbred in Ring 1, Penn-Marydel in Ring 2, and English, American, and Foot packs in Ring 3. That one ring is dedicated entirely to Penn-Marydel hounds, and English and American foxhounds are combined in one ring with foot hounds, strikes this reporter as a noteworthy indication of the growing affinity for Penn-Marydel foxhounds amongst North American hunts well outside of the breed’s native region of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. Concomitantly, the consequence must be a reduction in the numbers of Pure English and American types now being hunted in these southern Atlantic states.

Dr. Jack Van Nagell, MFH, Iroquois Hunt (KY) judged the Crossbreds in Ring 1; Jake Carle, ex-MFH and huntsman, Keswick Hunt (VA) judged the Penn-Marydels in Ring 2; and MFHA president Tony Leahy, MFH, Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), judged in the English, American, and Foot Pack Ring. Lt. Col. Dennis Foster, former Executive Director of the MFHA judged the Unentered Championship and Grand Championship classes and the Juniors. MFHA Executive Director David Twiggs and Adrianna Waddy were Apprentice Judges.

For the Grand Champion Foxhound of Show, Judge Foster pointed at Bedford County Detroit 2017 (Shakerag Grenadier 2012 ex Moore County Dita Vonteese 2014), a fine-looking young Crossbred dog hound that has completed two seasons of hunting. Both tail male and tail female lines are mainly Penn-Marydel—Shakerag on top, Moore County, Millbrook, and Red Mountain on the bottom.

“He’s such a happy dog,” said Bedford County huntsman Larry Pitts. One of the most successful breeders of top showing and performing American hounds during his long career at Potomac Hunt (MD), Larry was one of the relatively few huntsmen in North America still committed to maintaining the old traditional pure American bloodlines as distinguished from the Penn-Marydel type. Larry has an open mind, though. “I’ll probably breed him in a year,” he said, “most likely to a Penn-Marydel.”

If Detroit should sire a litter of pups, I can’t refrain from nominating the name, Nathan, for one of the males in the litter: Nathan Detroit was a Damon Runyon-inspired character in Guys and Dolls, who ran “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York.” Nathan’s part was played by Frank Sinatra in Frank Loesser’s Oscar-winning musical. (Of course, names like Olds, Caddie, and Chevvie would also work!)

“He has a bubbling personality...never down,” Larry says. “If he does something wrong, you just have to tell him, and he won’t do it again. He has no bad habits. I never have to tell him twice what I want. And, he’s always so happy! I showed him last year, and all he wanted to do was play with the other hounds in the ring. My daughter, Laura, showed him this year; she has really done well with him.”

Detroit gets his English blood in the middle of the pedigree on the male side, which goes back to a double dose of Duke of Beaufort Mostyn 1992, a highly regarded sire of superbly performing hounds in the field both in England and the U.S. Interestingly, last year’s Grand Champion foxhound at Carolinas, Deep Run Warrior 2015, also went back to Duke of Beaufort Mostyn.

Foxhounds were entered at Carolinas by Aiken Hounds (SC), Bedford County Hunt (VA), Camden Hunt (SC), Goodwin Hounds (NC), Goshen Hounds (MD), Green Creek Hounds (SC), Lowcountry Hunt (SC), Moore County Hounds (NC), Princess Anne Hunt (VA), Red Mountain Foxhounds (NC), Red Oak Foxhounds (VA), Sedgefield Hunt (NC), Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC), and Wiggins Hounds (SC).

Click for complete results.

Posted May 17, 2019

Photos by WLS Photography

tlj and commendationCasanova Master Joyce Fendley and huntsman Tommy Lee Jones were honored by the Virginia House of Delegates in Richmond. On February 1, 2019, Representatives of The Virginia State Legislature approved a Resolution commending the Casanova Hunt in Fauquier County on its 110th anniversary. Casanova’s history and contributions to the land and the community were noted.

A second Resolution recognized Casanova’s professional huntsman of forty-nine years, Tommy Lee Jones, for his contributions to hunting and showing in his Fauquier County community as well. Tommy Lee is the show manager for both the Upperville Colt and Horse Show and the Warrenton Horse Show.

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IMG 1062Frances Player photo

Early every season, foxhunters get to sit for a special moment on a horse, in the midst of the natural world, as the rising sun ignites crystals of dew, and the slanting light creeps across the once dark fields. All is silent but for nature’s sounds, and then...

“...the sounds of the hunting horn and this year’s young entry could be heard in the cornfield, giving hope for a promising season ahead,” said Heather Player, professional whipper-in for the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Heather’s mother, Frances Player, took this lovely photo.

Posted September 14, 2018

amatt and houndsNeil Amatt will hunt hounds at Loudoun Fairfax.Having been a member of many fields in many hunting countries, the huntsman has always been my hero. From the time we mount up and for the few hours that follow, it is the huntsman who is most directly responsible for our day’s sport.

One might well argue that the hounds have something to do with it, and this I grant. But the pack is the product of the huntsman, and, since the level of sport depends on how hounds perform in the field as a pack, it all comes back to the huntsman.

Here’s our annual report on the recent moves of huntsmen Neil Amatt, Martyn Blackmore, Tony Gammell, and Sam Clifton.

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