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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

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Remembrance

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, Dies in Ireland at 94

Captain Tom Morgan presents the South Tyrone Foxhounds Hon Whip Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty winner of the Isaac Bell TrophyCaptain Tom Morgan (in wheelchair) presents the Isaac Bell Perpetual Challenge Cup at the 2015 National Irish Masters of Foxhounds Show. / Noel Mullins photo

Captain Thomas Morgan, MFH, died peacefully at his home, Hunters Lodge, Bishopstown , Lismore, Ireland on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at age ninety-four.

Captain Morgan worked closely with Ikey Bell, father of the Modern English Foxhound, and with Ben Hardaway, MFH of the Midland Foxhounds (GA), to create the Hardaway Crossbred. He was Joint-Master, with his wife Elsie, of the West Waterford Foxhounds (IRE) from 1953 to 1989. For more on this iconic triumvirate of hound breeders, read “The Hardaway-Morgan-Bell Connection.” Here is Noel Mullins' tribute to this outstanding soldier/sportsman:

Captain Tom Morgan, MFH, was a gentleman, wise, widely read, passionate about horses and hounds, and a diplomat who had a wonderful relationship with neighbours and landowners across the hunting country. He welcomed visitors to his very traditional home with his lovely, gentle Welsh accent, and they seldom left without the customary cup of tea and talk of hunting and horse breeding.

Art

Country Pursuits: The Mellon Collections

country pursuits.cormackCountry Pursuits: British, American and French Sporting Art from the Mellon Collections in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, by Malcolm Cormack, Published by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in association with the University of Virginia Press, 2007, 474 pages, illustrated, $62.00What a debt we all owe the late philanthropist Paul Mellon, whose love of horses and horse sports was expressed through the fabulous art collections that he so generously shared with us.

The Eclipse Award-winning breeder saddled legendary Thoroughbreds Sea Hero, Arts and Letters, and Mill Reef, just to name a few. His first British art purchase, in 1936, was a painting of a racehorse, "Pumpkin with a Stable-lad" by George Stubbs, said to be his favorite painting by one of his favorite artists. Pumpkin won sixteen out of his twenty-four races at Newmarket turf in the late 1770s and was described as an excellent runner.

“It was my very first purchase of a painting,” Mellon recalled later, “and could be said to be the impetus toward my later, some might say gluttonous, forays into the sporting art field.”

That Stubbs painting was donated to his alma mater, Yale, but the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was another lucky recipient of Mellon’s “gluttonous” obsession with sporting art. Mellon’s donations are explored in Country Pursuits: British, American and French Sporting Art from the Mellon Collections in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts by Malcom Cormack. Cormack was the Paul Mellon Curator at the VMFA in 1991 until his retirement in 2004. He also once served as the Curator of Paintings at the Yale Center of British Art established by Mellon.

Horses

Fout and Galligan Dominate Hurdles at Warrenton

pariformer.galligan.leesOpen Hurdle: (l-r) Doug Fout-trained Papriformer (Gerard Galligan) finished first and Storyville (Kieran Norris) placed second  /  Douglas Lees photo

Trainer Doug Fout and jockey Gerard Galligan monopolized the hurdle races at the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point at Airlie Race Course on Saturday, March 14, 2015. Fout and Galligan swept all three hurdle races as well as the Open Flat Race.

With the Thornton Hill and Blue Ridge Races postponed, Warrenton’s was the first Virginia hunt race to go off as scheduled this wintry spring season. Because of the deep going, the race card was abbreviated, and the courses were modified.

Norm Fine's Blog

Mrs. Thaddeus (Anne) Ryan, 89, Dies in New Zealand

scarteen hunt dance.1949Scarteen Hunt Dance, 1949, where Anne Peter from New Zealand first met Thady Ryan, MFH. Anne is second from the right in front. Thady is second from the left behind.Anne Ryan (neé Peter), eighty-nine, widow of the late Thady Ryan, MFH, Scarteen (IRE), died in her home in Nelson, New Zealand on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. She will be remembered with affection by sportsmen around the world who had the good fortune to meet her while hunting with the Scarteen behind Master and huntsman Thady Ryan, and especially by those who had the greater good fortune to stay or dine at Scarteen over their hunting holidays.

Anne, a native of New Zealand, was visiting cousins in Ireland in 1949 when she met Thady. She caught his eye the first time he spied her hacking in from a meet with the Tipps. A few days later, she appeared at the Scarteen Hunt Dance in the company of a young man. Thady had not forgotten his first sight of Anne, and he wooed her with determination. There were obstacles, she having been brought up in the Anglican faith and he a devout Catholic. Further, the cousins with whom Anne was staying had promised to return her to her family in New Zealand “whole and single.”

Ask the Experts

Hunt-to-Huntsman Relations: A Matter of Concern?

sidney bailey.vwhSidney Bailey retired in 2005 after serving as professional huntsman for the Vale of the White Horse (UK) for forty-three seasons.Foxhunting Life readers demonstrate enormous interest in our articles covering the migration of huntsmen each year at about this time. (See “Huntsmen on the Move,” published last month.) Nancy Mitchell, who has hunted hounds at the Bijou Springs Hunt (CO) over a period of sixteen years, wants to know the why of it.

“I’m curious to know what motivates this ‘spring dance of the huntsmen,’” Nancy wrote. “What circumstances create this phenomenon? Money? Prestige? Politics? Age?”

We thought it was an interesting subject for our Panel of Experts, so we asked Jerry Miller, MFH, C. Martin Scott, ex-MFH, and Hugh Robards, ex-MFH, to weigh in on Nancy's question.

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