On March 4 & 5th 2023, Wicomico Hunt Club hosted the first ever All Maryland Masters of the Foxhounds Association (“MFHA”) Performance Trials on Wye Island. This performance trial brought together not just Penn-Marydel hounds (as in prior years), but the full chorus/compliment of diversity found in Free State packs: crossbred and American hounds.
Fun Fact: the first foxhounds in the Americas were brought to the colony of Maryland by Robert Brooke in the mid-1600s, making Maryland the cradle of foxhunting in America.
The Grand Canyon Hounds of Flagstaff, Arizona had their last Closing Meet this March. Paul Delaney has been the Master of this hunt since its beginning in the early 2000s. It has been one of the few "Western Hunts" and was the only recognized hunt in Arizona. Peter Wilson was the Professional Huntsman. Mary Williams, the Honorary Secretary, took this poignant photo of a rainbow seemingly ending at the water tower affectionately nicknamed "Beer Can".
Mia Valdez is a 15-year-old Junior Member of the Keswick Hunt Club and member of the Mountain Skyline Pony Club. She has an impressive resume of lobbying her state government not once, but twice. Below is her account of the day.
Photo: Virginia Hunts Juniors met with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Representative Buddy Fowler. Photo by Joseph Svetina.
The topic of this year’s Junior Foxhunting Day was land conservation and how the Virginia Department of Wildlife and Resources supports the efforts of many hunt clubs within the state. The importance of maintaining open spaces, the involvement of Juniors, and educating the general public about foxhunting were all discussed.
“The future of our sport and land”
The Junior North American Field Hunter Championship, or JNAFHC, founders Douglas Wise-Stuart, MFH of Old Dominion Hounds, and Iona Pillion from the Blue Ridge Hunt had a dream, “Bring children to new hunting countries and open their eyes to the fact that these playgrounds don’t just happen to be there for them by chance but have been nurtured and conserved for the perpetuation of wildlife, open space, and for those who treasure the natural world.”
The new year is only a few months old, but it has been a long one for foxhunters in Britain. To hit the “high notes”, there have been guilty pleas, protests, arrests, national and celebrity outrage, and an updated Scottish ban on hunting. But the worst is that two hunt clubs have disbanded in the wake.
“Foxhunting is all about the moment between moments.” - Kristy Lathrop of Fort Leavenworth Hunt.
Here is a moment between moments, a young boy and a hound pause in the middle of the chaotic time when the hunt is gathering to begin the day’s sport. Content with their own company, two souls soak in the living history before them.
Here is an account from the guest huntsman of the recent Performance Trial hosted by Belle Meade in Georgia. There were nine packs that competed: Belle Meade Hunt (GA), Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Bull Run Hunt (VA), Goodwin Hounds (NC), Goshen Hounds (MD), Mill Creek Hunt (IL), Midland Fox Hounds (GA), Rolling Rock Hunt (PA), and Tennessee Valley Hunt (TN). Steven Thomas, MFH is the Huntsman for the Fort Leavenworth Hunt in Kansas and had the pleasure of being the guest huntsman of the combined pack. Read below to hear what this huntsman thought of the weekend.
The Friends of Emmanuel Episcopal Church Delaplane and Folkstreams.net will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film "Thoughts on Foxhunting" with a special showing on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 7 PM at the Middleburg Community Center in Middleburg, Virginia.
The event will premiere a new 4K high-definition scan of the original 16mm film.