Un-entered Myopia Lupy may have surprised some when she was judged Grand Champion at the New England Hound Show on Sunday, May 7, 2017, but none could have been more surprised than her huntsman and the Myopia Masters. The un-entered Lupy, not yet a year old, hadn’t exhibited the slightest inclination to show herself off during the prior week-and-a-half of show training back home.
“She had no interest in concentrating,” said Kim Cutler, MFH of the Massachusetts pack. “She was all over the place—just a puppy.”
“Her litter mate, Luna, paid attention," recalled Phillip Headdon, Myopia huntsman, "but Lupy was just...loopy!”
Born in Shanghai, China in 1870, the author of this story crossed the Pacific Ocean with his sea-going father three times by the age of four. A goat was carried aboard ship to provide him with milk. Nason Hamlin was the first recording secretary of the Norfolk Hunt and a member of the field on Norfolk’s first day with hounds in 1896. He took to hunting and polo with exuberance, but his hand-written records are more often expressed in seaman’s jargon than in the language of foxhunting. Here’s Hamlin’s record (abridged) of a Christmas Day live hunt on Cape Cod (pp 27–29, "The Norfolk Hunt: One Hundred Years of Sport" by Norman Fine).
Soapy Sponge, my new dappled-gray runaway, was yet to demonstrate his worth. On Christmas morn, 1899, just as the sun was peeping over the hill, Captain Samuel D. Parker, MFH was hunting the hounds at Eastham, away down on Cape Cod. It was a frosty, sharp morn and hounds were thrown in at the swamp lands fringing the ponds on the bay-side somewhere opposite Billingsgate Island. Shortly we heard a whimper from one hound, and almost immediately the pack took up the find and crashed away in the direction of the shore.
There were some skeptical suggestions that dead fish were the lure, but dead fish by themselves don’t travel, and when the entire pack kept running along the water’s edge in full cry in a northeast point, we all were convinced it was the real thing after all.
Foxhounds weren’t the only newsmakers at the Virginia Foxhound Show. A few people were worth noting as well!
Three individuals were introduced for induction into the Huntsmen’s Room of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in ceremonies on Saturday evening. Before dinner under the tent, Jake Carle, ex-MFH, spoke eloquently, reverently, and at the right times humorously about the three men who have hunted hounds with distinction for many years: C. Martin Wood, III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL), G. Marvin Beeman, MFH, Arapaho Hunt (CO), and the late Jim Atkins who hunted hounds for the Piedmont Fox Hounds, Old Dominion Hounds, and the Warrenton Hunt, all in Virginia.
Myopia Gammell 2012 is the second foxhound this season carrying the blood of the inimitable Potomac Jefferson to be named a Grand Champion of Show, this at the New England Hound Show held on Sunday, May 1, 2016.
Gammell was bred by now-retired huntsman Larry Pitts at Potomac, and drafted unentered to huntsman Tony Gammell at the Keswick Hunt (VA) in exchange for another breeding. Tony in turn drafted the still unentered pup to his pal, Brian Kiely, then huntsman at the Myopia Hunt (MA), who named the hound for Tony. Brian, of course, is now huntsman at Potomac, so that completes another circle, entirely!
The roster of members who in 1898 organized the Norfolk Hunt (MA) near Boston, and rode as members through the early years of the twentieth century, boasts well-known family names synonymous with American commerce, finance, and government. One member, active through the middle of the twentieth century, perhaps lesser known but every bit as interesting, was Noel Morss. (His grandfather founded the Simplex Wire and Cable Company.)
Morss served as treasurer then president of the Norfolk Hunt from 1951 to 1964. He’d graduated from Harvard Law School, practiced law in Boston, and was also highly regarded as an amateur anthropologist and archaeologist. His discoveries made while leading Peabody Museum archaeological expeditions to Arizona and Utah and his scholarship that followed were of such caliber that he was appointed to a committee chairmanship at both Harvard and the Peabody.
Less recognized perhaps was his remarkable talent for writing humorous and whimsical verse. Here’s one that should resonate with anyone who’s ever taken riding lessons. Without attribution, one would readily assume it to be from the pen of Ogden Nash.