Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Keswick Hunt

keswick

Keswick, Virginia

Website: www.keswickhuntclub.com


The 2013 Field Hunter Championship of North America will be held in Virginia from Monday, September 30 to Sunday, October 6. Competitors will hunt four days, with fixtures at Keswick Hunt, Casanova Hunt, Snickersville Hounds, and Piedmont Fox Hounds. The Finals will be held on Sunday, October 6 at Glenwood Park.

The final day at Glenwood will start with the judging of the “Best Turned Out” horse and rider, after which a short drag hunt will start and end on the racecourse. At least ten finalists will be chosen to ride over a “handy hunter” course, where they may be required to drop a rail, open a gate, and hand gallop and halt. Spectators are encouraged to attend. This is the second and final day of the Virginia Fall Races at Glenwood Park, so there’s a lot going on!

The family of the late Mrs. Theodora Ayer Randolph will again honor her memory and her lifetime commitment to fox hunting by awarding a $2,500 cash prize to the home hunt of the winner.

The Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg will award a one-year membership to the winning rider and to the two highest-placed Juniors that qualify for the Finals.

General Admission price is $30.00 per carload of four people.  To reach Glenwood Park from the Washington DC area, take I-66 West and exit Route 50 West (Exit 57B towards Winchester).  Drive approximately 25 miles to Middleburg and turn right at stop light in Middleburg (Route 626, Foxcroft Road).  Proceed 1 mile North to Glenwood Park on your right.

For additional information and/or photos call the name above or contact the Field Hunter Championship Chairman Ms. Pippy McCormick at 540-454-2854.

Posted September 6, 2013

katherine wedsKatherine Gunter and John Dunbar were married on June 9, 2012, at Tybee Island, Georgia.

Katherine has been huntsman for the Aiken Hounds (SC) for the past four seasons. Prior to Aiken, she was professional staff at the Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC) and the Bear Creek Hounds (GA).

John laid the drag for Aiken Hounds for much of this past season, riding western! John's family owns and operates a large cotton farm east of Aiken, and both share a love of fishing and hunting. Katherine and John met through foxhunting friends, Danielle Sertick and Todd Martineau, who will also be married later this summer.

Katherine and John were married on the beach at Tybee with fifty family and friends in attendance. Katherine's bridesmaids were foxhunting friends Mary Taylor Miller (whipper-in for Middleburg Hunt), Ria Burton (whipper-in for Aiken), Christine Raley (wife of Moore County huntsman David Raley), Danielle Sertick (whipper-in for Aiken) and Alison Brown (rider and trainer).

The couple honeymooned in the Florida Keys where they went deep sea fishing for five days. Shortly thereafter they went on another fishing trip off the North Carolina coast with Tony Gammell, huntsman for the Keswick Hunt (VA), Jordan Hicks, huntsman for the Tryon Hounds (NC), and Adrian Smith, huntsman for the Metamora Hunt (MI). Pretty good summer for the newlyweds so far!

Posted July 22, 2012

Linda Knox McLean is MFH of the Aiken Hounds.

loudounLoudoun West huntsman Martyn Blackmore blows his fox to ground.Aiken Hounds huntsman Katherine Gunter and I had been planning this trip for months. South Carolina summers are tough, and no sooner had we returned to Aiken after the 2011 Virginia Foxhound Show and found ourselves enveloped in ninety-plus temperatures that we began to think about September and a possible hunting vacation.

Everything came together well. We don’t begin our own cubhunting until October, which left September free and clear for adventure. Where shall we go? We had a wonderful invitation from friends in Millbrook, NY, so we decided to make the big push north, out of the heat first, and work our way back south.

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carolinas2012Unentered Aiken Trailer was Grand Champion of the Carolinas Hound Show to the delight of (l-r) huntsman Katherine Gunter and Linda McLean, MFH.  /  Louisa Davidson photoWith stunning examples of the modern English foxhound setting the beauty standard of our time, the Penn-Marydels have long been considered the ugly ducklings of the show ring. So outclassed were they that when shown in the same ring with the modern English or well-bred Crossbred, they never even earned a second glance from the judges.

That view is changing, and we are seeing some spectacular examples of foxhound conformation in the Penn-Marydel ring. So good in fact, that in two cases at least the Penn-Marydel entry has eclipsed all others.

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Gammell2.callarKeswick huntsman Tony Gammell  /  Liz Callar photoHuntsman Tony Gammell at the Keswick Hunt (VA) has developed a pack of American foxhounds that hunts the red fox and only the red fox. No gray fox, coyote, deer, or any other woodland creature.

Why wouldn’t he want to hunt gray fox? I wondered. Yes, they run short and tight with more jinks and double-backs, but they make hounds work for every inch of sport. It can be fun to watch. And even assuming he has good reason for not hunting gray fox, how does he teach hounds to ignore the line? I collared him at the recent MFHA Staff Seminar and asked, and I got more hound wisdom than I bargained for.

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