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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

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Our Hunting World

A Son Remembers Essex Fox Hounds' Tribute to His Father

bert hannahColumnist Russ Hannah, writing for NorthJersey.com, recalls the day the Essex Fox Hounds (NJ) paid tribute to Bert Hannah, his late father. Bert wasn’t a foxhunter, a landowner, or a captain of industry. He was, writes Russ, an “ordinary man who had once been a Minnesota lumberjack with a third-grade education, if that.”

Bert was a caretaker on a large estate near the Brady estate and Hamilton Farms. The latter represented five thousand acres, constituting the primary Essex hunting country. The former, Martha Brookes Hutcheson’s estate of 104 acres, where Bert Hannah served as caretaker, was closed to the hunt by the owner as the result of a fallen rider being seriously injured there years earlier.

Nevertheless, Bert Hannah was an animal person. He bred field trial beagles—one a 1963 National Champion, Longview Susie at left in news photo with two of her offspring. And he loved horses.

Bert was always friendly to the Essex riders, stopping to talk as they went by. Any injured or lost foxhound that passed Bert’s way was taken in by him, fed, and cared for before being returned to kennels.

Literature

See You at Second Horses

barclay rives.book See You at Second Horses, Barclay Rives, Aterlerix Press, New York, 2014, Paperback, illustrated, 184 pages, $13.50, available at retail outlets including Horse Country Saddlery, Warrenton, VirginiaThe foxes! Oh, the foxes! When Barclay Rives undertook a marathon of foxhunting in 1999, when he went out with nine English hunts in ten days, it seemed like there was a fox popping out of every covert.

Rives, an honorary whipper-in for the Keswick and Bull Run Hunts (VA), writes about his English sporting adventure in See You at Second Horses, a delightful read that puts us galloping behind some great packs in the glory days before the infamous Hunting Act of 2004 banned hunting with hounds in the traditional manner in England and Wales.

Rives is an avid hunter who once hunted one hundred days a season, sometimes going out with Keswick in the morning and Bull Run in the afternoon. Saying he was gung-ho is an understatement. He jumped at the chance to join his friends Grosvenor and Rosie Merle-Smith to hunt with packs dating back to the 1700s: the Quorn (twice), the Cottesmore, the Fernie, and others, including a foot pack—the High Peak Harriers—after rabbits.

Hunt Reports

My First Opening Meet

carla lake1One of the quiet moments in Carla Lake's first Opening Meet

My first Opening Meet has been about a year in the making, and I can hardly believe I’m here. By here, I mean standing on top of a log, cursing my horse, who, instead of standing quietly for me to remount, has decided to leap over the log while I try to stay calm and not burst into tears.

It’s been a trying weekend so far.

My borrowed horse, Seven Up, is completely sick of me after I spent a total of six hours Friday night and Saturday morning grooming the living bejezus out of him. Up to this point, I never had to braid for any kind of equestrian event, so on Friday night I arrive at the barn around 6:30, brush and bathe him, and separate his mane into little sections.

Art

Two-Part Edward Troye Exhibit at NSL&M

troye.nsl exhibit

The National Sporting Library and Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg, Virginia has mounted a comprehensive exhibit in two parts: the paintings of Edward Troye and the archives of his biographers, Harry Worcester Smith and Alexander Mackay-Smith. The paintings (on view in the Museum) and the archives (exhibited in the Library) may now be seen through March 29, 2015.

Troye played an important role not only in American art but also in preserving the images of leading American Thoroughbreds of the nineteenth century. Highlights of the exhibit include many of Troye’s most recognized portrayals of important racehorses, jockeys, and trainers of the antebellum period.

Literature

Images of Opening Meet

Here's a poetic kaleidoscope of Opening Meet images conjured up by Martha Drum the evening before, while braiding her horse and cleaning her tack.

martha drum2Opening Meet! Hounds assemble
Veterans chitchat, newbies tremble

Chilly wind, sky clear blue
Scent on frost, turning dew

Youngest rider nods and yawns
Oldest recalls many such dawns

Gents and ladies grin and greet
Ponies yank to reach and eat

Scarlet coats, mounts in braids
Flasks, in case courage fades

Some in perfect kit adorned
Others serviceably well-worn

Green horse wheels and tries to buck
Old horse naps beside the truck

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