Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Keswick Hunt

keswick

Keswick, Virginia

Website: www.keswickhuntclub.com


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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brazos_valley_meadowBrazos Valley Meadow, shown by Sandy Dixon, MFH and huntsman, is Grand Champion. Standing (l-r): Dr. Robert Smith, ex-MFH, Ringmaster; Bobby Dixon; John (Jake) Carle, ex-MFH, Judge; Terry Olsen, MFHIt was Mom’s day out on Mother’s Day weekend for Brazos Valley Meadow 2006. She was judged Best Hound of Show at the Central States Hound Show on May 7, 2011. Among the other division champions over which she prevailed was her son, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010, who just a month earlier had been judged Grand Champion at the Southwest Hound Show.

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