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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

By the Way

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Hunt Reports

A Cowboy in County Clare

cowboy hunt1Kail Mantle from Montana: just like riding a bronc  /  Val Westover photo

Last year, while hunting with the Red Rock Hounds (NV), I met Renee and Kail Mantle from Big Sky Hounds in Three Forks, Montana. Kail gave us a bucking horse lesson one day before hunting. This Montana cowboy, who hunts in chaps and cowboy hat, had sat calmly to his horse bucking crazily above the sagebrush and had seriously impressed me.

When a group of these Western foxhunters invited me to accompany them to Ireland this year, I jumped at the chance. These were fun people---more than a little crazy, and I wondered if anyone had warned the Irish!

I also wondered if my companions knew what they were getting into. I had hunted the big Irish walls and hedges in 2000, and I came home with newfound respect for anyone who hunts regularly in Ireland. It is challenging country, and their version of foxhunting is an excuse to run and jump really big fences.

People

Tommy Hitchcock, Jr: Sportsman, War Hero

tommy hitchcock.polo2May 8, 2015 will mark the seventieth anniversary of V-E Day, Victory in Europe, the end of the Nazi menace. It’s a propitious time to remember a foxhunting sportsman named Tommy Hitchcock, Jr.

Most Foxhunting Life readers are familiar with his name. Born in Aiken, South Carolina, Hitchcock was an all-around sportsman, a foxhunter, and perhaps the greatest American polo player of all time. A ten-goal player by age twenty-two, Hitchcock led the U.S. team to their first victory in the 1921 International Polo Cup. He followed that feat by leading four teams to U.S. National Open Championships. In 1939, after the death of his mother, Louise Eustis Hitchcock, MFH of the Aiken Hounds, Tommy and his sister Helen founded what is know today as the Hitchcock Woods Foundation in Aiken—a magnificent gift to subsequent generations of horsemen and women from all across North America.

Perhaps less known, however, is the singular role that Hitchcock played in the winning of World War II. If not for Hitchcock, the date June 6, 1944 would most likely not be known to history as D-Day. The invasion of the European mainland would have necessarily been postponed. And if it hadn’t, thousands more Allied soldiers would have been slaughtered on the beaches by the German Air Force.

Hounds

Southern Hound Show Kicks Off the Season

southern hound show15.fanfare10.warner rayLive Oak Fanfare '10 is Grand Champion of the Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Michael Ledyard, Esq., MFH Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds; C. Martin Wood III, MFH, Live Oak Hounds; Dale Barnett, huntsman

Captain Ian W. Farquhar, MFH of the Duke of Beaufort (UK), who judged at this show seven years ago, was joined in the ring by John J. Carle II, ex-MFH of the Keswick Hunt (VA).

Ian Farquhar, huntsman for thirty-eight seasons, judged his first show forty-two years ago and has bred nineteen Peterborough champions. Jake Carle, who hunted hounds for twenty-eight seasons, has judged for over forty years at all the major hound shows in the United States. Over the course of the weekend these two very senior judges enjoyed each other immensely and got along famously in the ring despite their English and Bywaters leanings respectively. Interestingly, thirty-four ribbons were won by Crossbreds, and twenty went to English hounds. Two Champions were Crossbred, and two were English.

Remembrance

John B. Glass: Gentleman, Scholar

john glassJohn B. Glass, who served as Clerk and Keeper of the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book for the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) from 1973 to 1995, died on Friday, April 10, 2015, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was eighty-six years old.

John was the second of only three men to supervise the MFHA office in the 107 years since the founding of the association; he succeeded the late Joe Jones upon the latter’s retirement. John began his twenty-two-year career in the old MFHA headquarters on Water Street in Boston, moving to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia, when the directors relocated the office. John was the first to recommend computerizing the Foxhound Kennel Stud Book, and he personally wrote the code and implemented the first computer program to do that. John’s “Fox Dog” program was used for years by the MFHA until commercial programs written in newer, higher-level language became available.

The son of a West Point army officer who served in two wars, John was born in Hawaii and spent his formative years in such far-flung locations as Virginia, Texas, Wyoming, Guatemala, and Germany. He majored in economics at Yale and earned a Ph.D. in archaeology at Harvard. He became an authority on Pre-Columbian hieroglyphic manuscripts, publishing numerous papers and books on the subject, most notably as a major contributor to the academic encyclopedia The Handbook of Middle American Indians.

Horses

Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Races

odh15.amnov hurdleAmateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race (l-r): Acela (Suzanne Stettinius up) 2nd; Controlled Neglect (Brendan Brooks up) 1st / Douglas Lees photo

The Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point Races were run on Saturday, April 4, 2015, at Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue, Virginia.

Controlled Neglect, owned by Ann Braxton Jones-Lynch and trained by Jimmy Day, nailed down his second win of the Virginia point-to-point season in the Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle series by two lengths over Acela. The second place Acela, trained by Eva Smithwick, won last week’s Novice Flat Race at Orange County. Acela set the early pace in the four-horse field, with Controlled Neglect keeping in close touch. The pair jumped the last fence together, and Controlled Neglect took over from there. Brendan Brooks was in the irons for both the Old Dominion and the Blue Ridge wins.

Hopefully, before the season ends, we'll see a match-up between two-time winner Controlled Neglect and Greg Ryan’s veteran hurdler, Spy in the Sky, winner of last week’s Amateur/Novice Rider Race at Orange County.

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