with Horse and Hound

Millbrook Hunt

laura sloan on Forthegreatergood.CanterClix

Foxhunter Sweeps National Thoroughbred Makeover Competition

Laura Sloan, a well-known foxhunter and trainer of field hunters, won the Field Hunter Division of the 2021 National Thoroughbred Makeover competition on Donna Verrilli’s off-the-track-Thoroughbred (OTTB), Forthegreatergood. But the story doesn’t end there.

On the final evening of competition, October 17, 2021, in the arena, Sloan and Forthegreatergood won a final recognition at the Kentucky Horse Park: Overall 2021 Thoroughbred Makeover Champion of all competing horses in all ten divisions. This was the first overall championship for a horse from the Field Hunter division.

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milldrook om.Capturing Moments by Carol Pedersen

Millbrook’s Opening Meet: All the World’s a Stage

By Erin McKenney, huntsman, and Marion de Vogel, videographer

A Marion de Vogel equestrian sport film. Click to play.

In this, the 114th year of the Millbrook Hunt (NY), a special project is underway. Marion de Vogel, who regularly rides in first flight, is filming a video featuring our hunt from the beginning of roading through the formal season. Last month, we shared a segment with Foxhunting Life readers that captured the first-of-the-season MFHA-sponsored foxhound performance trials. Now we present our Opening Meet, which took place on October 2, 2021.

As seen in the video, Opening Meet really starts the day before. Grooms groom.  Braiders braid. Tack is cleaned. Boots are shined. The breakfast committee puts up a tent. Donald Philhower and I evaluate the hounds for soundness, and I put together my final list for the day. Parts of our country can be thick with bushy undergrowth, tight for hounds to push through, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for any minor cuts or injuries that require treatment and rest.

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hound trial.millbrook2

Millbrook Hunt Hosts Season’s Performance Trial Opener

RoseTree-Blue Mountain prevails with all five entries finishing among the top-ten overall scoring hounds, including Bridle 2015, the winner.

Through an early morning mist, foxhounds are in full cry after the coyote. This excellent video was filmed on the second day of the Millboo Hunt Foxhound Performance Trials.  /   Video by Marion Latta de Vogel

The first of ten foxhound performance trials scheduled across North America this season is history. Millbrook Hunt (NY) hosted the 2021/2022 opener on September 8 and 9, 2021. Participants enjoyed superb weather, gorgeous country, exciting sport, and Millbrook’s unparalleled hospitality.

The first nine trials are qualifiers for the tenth and final Grand Championship Trials. That final showdown is scheduled for March 26 and 27, 2022, in Hoffman, North Carolina, where a national champion and the top ten foxhounds countrywide will be recognized.

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performance trial. mission valley

Performance Trial Hounds to Vie for National Championship

performance trial. mission valleyMission Valley 2018 Performance Trials: Fort Leavenworth Tracker 2010 (#71) was overall High Point foxhound after two days of hunting.  /  Allison Howell photo

The schedule of Foxhound Performance Trials for the 2021/2022 foxhunting season has been released by Trial Chairman Fred Berry, MFH, Sedgefield Hounds (NC). Nine qualifying trials will be run across the country, and the tenth and final trial will crown a Grand Champion and the top ten performance hounds in North America.

"'Pretty is as pretty does' really applies to foxhounds," says Fred. The Brits invented mounted foxhunting and hound show, but they shouldn’t have stopped there.

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waterman piedmont hound.1991 match with Midland.lees

Piedmont Watchman: A Mighty Stallion Hound

waterman piedmont hound.1991 match with Midland.leesRandy Waterman, MFH, (foreground) hunts the Piedmont pack in the 1991 Piedmont-Midlang Hound Match. Farnham Collins, MFH, Millbrook Hunt (NY), (behind) is a judge. Watchman would surely have been with the pack this day but is unidentified.  /  Douglas Lees photo

Watchman is a popular name for dog hounds around the foxhunting world. 'Watchman' appears in at least fifty different hunts in the North American Studbook, not to mention the studbooks of England and Ireland. Nevertheless, whenever you hear the name Watchman in a foxhunting conversation, you can bet they're talking about Piedmont Watchman 1989.

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erin mckenney nov.lindsay baldwin

A First-Year Huntsman, Her Hounds, Her Sport

After the close of last season, professional whipper-in Erin McKenney was tapped to take over the horn at the Millbrook Hunt (NY). What’s it like to be a first-year huntsman following in the boot prints of a retiring, respected, experienced huntsman and long-time hound breeder like Donald Philhower? Butterflies, sure, but what goes through the mind of a huntsman responsible for giving sport every hunting day? Erin gives us a taste.

erin mckenney nov.lindsay baldwinLindsay Baldwin photo

November 5, 2020, 9-1/2 couple
It was a warm, bluebird sort of day with a dry wind which didn’t bode too well for scenting conditions. I took a smaller pack since it is a tight fixture.

I went with idea of taking older, slower hounds, with some younger ones for an educational day. I’m not convinced when young hounds are flying on a coyote that they’re learning a ton, except to keep up. The seasoned hounds may not be so quick under this day’s conditions, and the younger ones should have a chance to really get their noses down and learn.

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oakleigh thorne.jockey club

Oakleigh B. Thorne (1932–2020)

oakleigh thorne.jockey club

Oakleigh B. Thorne, sportsman, philanthropist, and businessman, known for his quick wit and irreverent personality, died on October 7, 2020 at his home in Millbrook, New York. He was 88 years old.

“Oakleigh came from the family that, more than any other, was instrumental in establishing the Millbrook Hunt as we know it today,” said Farnham F. Collins, ex-MFH.

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millbrook.erin mckenney2.carol pedersen

Millbrook Celebrates its 113th Opening Meet

millbrook.erin mckenney2.carol pedersenMillbrook's new huntsman, Erin McKenney, parades hounds to the Stirrup Cup before moving off from Wethersfield. /  Carol Pedesen photo

The Millbrook Hunt (NY) held its 113th Opening Meet at Wethersfield, the former home of Mr. Chauncey Stillman, on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Mr. Stillman first hunted with Millbrook in 1937 as a guest. Soon after, he assembled the land and began construction of this elegant property. He continued to hunt with the Millbrook as a member.

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keeneland 2019.middlebrook hounds in the millbrook country.voss

Sporting Art Auction 2019 at Keeneland

keeneland 2019.middlebrook hounds in the millbrook country.vossLot 51, Franklin Brooke Voss (American, 1880–1953), THE MIDDLESEX FOXHOUNDS IN THE MILLBROOK COUNTRY, signed, dated 1921, $8,000. – 10,000

Sunday, November 17, 2019 will mark the seventh annual Sporting Art Auction at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion—a cooperative venture between the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house and its Lexington, Kentucky neighbor, Cross Gate Gallery, a leading source of the world’s finest sporting art. Collectors will take home works by highly regarded artists at prices possibly as low as $900, many under $3,000...others, truly exceptional works, as high as six figures.

This year’s offerings feature 189 lots of paintings and sculptures by masters long gone as well as by leading contemporary sporting artists of the day. Among the European artists represented are Henry Alken, Peter Curling, John Emms, Harry Hall, the various Herrings, Michael Lyne, Sir Alfred Munnings, and many others. American artists this year include Paul Brown, Juli Kirk, Booth Malone, LeRoy Neiman, Sandra Oppegard, Andre Pater, and Larry Wheeler.

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higginson plate.nmf

Historical Foxhunting Treasure Rescued From Extinction

higginson plate.nmf

The old silver tray was headed for melt-down, as are most engraved and unknown relics of lives long past and out of memory. Fortunately, however, it was recognized and rescued. For that, foxhunters with a respect for history have foxhunting historian Peter Devers, Millbrook ex-Master John Ike, and Live Oak Masters Marty and Daphne Wood to thank.

On a January evening in 1931, A. Henry Higginson—Master, huntsman, author, and contender in the Great English-American Hound Match of 1905—tendered his resignation as president of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. At dinner that night, members presented him with a tea service and engraved silver tray as a token of their regard and appreciation for his many years of service to the sport. In the last chapter of Higginson’s book, Try Back, published the following year, he wrote:

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