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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

By the Way

If you have downloaded our hunting horn ringtones for your cell phone, be sure to turn the phone to vibrate while hunting! Your Field Master won’t be amused if you forget!

 

Potpourri: Click a Thumbnail and see where it takes you

IMG 1396-puppies-bsm IMG 1400sm IMG 1405-puppies-drinkingsm

 

Hounds

The Puppy Walker

 puppy walker

No members of your hunting community are loved by Masters and huntsman as dearly as the puppy walkers. Each year these intrepid folk accept the arrival of a couple of playful pups to their country home in early summer to teach them their names, walking on lead, a semblance of civilized behavior, and a taste of life outside the kennel.

In a couple of months, after the cuddly innocents have grown into marauding, thieving, hunting fanatics, the puppy walkers cry, “Uncle!” and the huntsman returns to reclaim them. The huntsman will be back the following summer, however, and these generous puppy walkers will smilingly welcome yet another couple of wide-eyed puppies to their property.

So, when your Masters praise the puppy walkers at the annual puppy show and bestow a small trophy upon those who walked the winning hounds, recall this poem by Will H. Ogilvie and give the puppy walkers their due!

Will You Walk a Puppy?

‘Will you walk a puppy?’ the Hunt enquired.
Being sportsmen, we did as the Hunt desired.
And early in June there arrived a man
With an innocent bundle of white and tan.
A fat little Foxhound, bred to the game,
With a rollicking eye and a league-long name,
And he played with a cork at the end of a string;
And walking a puppy was ‘just the thing.’

Norm Fine's Blog

Watch Your Language, Bud!

NormanReaders of our e-magazine FHL WEEK have perhaps been puzzled by the stilted avoidance of common everyday words that might be considered offensive in a different context. In a recent book review, we camouflaged the word, “s-e-x,” by replacing the middle letter with a hyphen. In recent hound show reports, we used the word “female” instead of the b-word.

While it grieves me to avoid the use of natural language, I do it to reduce the chance of having our e-magazines labeled as spam by any one of the many spam filters that stand between Foxhunting Life and its readers. Thanks to the glut of junk email that bombards us daily, responsible mass-mailers must take unusual steps to ensure delivery of their email to all recipients.

Foxhunting Life uses iContact, a highly responsible mass mailer, to manage our distribution list and to mail FHL WEEK to the more than four thousand foxhunting enthusiasts who have registered to receive it. When we send our e-magazine to iContact  for distribution, if our text contains anything that their algorithms determine could be considered spam, they notify us, and we make the necessary changes. So, if we sound silly sometimes, that’s at least one of the reasons why.

Posted July 22, 2014

 

Literature

Goodall's Practice: A Huntsman's Guide

goodalls practiceThe highest praise that can be given to a huntsman is for a fool to say, ‘We had a great run and killed our fox; as for the huntsman, he might have been in bed!”   –Lord Henry Bentinck

This week we look at another legendary huntsman of the past, William Goodall, huntsman in the nineteenth century to the Duke of Rutland’s Belvoir foxhounds (UK).
Goodall’s methods greatly impressed Lord Henry Bentinck, one of the leading MFHs of the day. Captain Simon Clarke, MFH of the New Forest foxhounds (UK) tells us that Lord Henry hunted three horses a day, kept copious notes, compared the best of England’s huntsmen, and thought William Goodall to be the premier huntsman in England.

When in 1864 Lord Henry sold his famous hound pack, he wrote a letter to the purchaser, Mr. Henry Chaplin, describing William Goodall’s hunting methods. The information in the letter so impressed Mr. Chaplin that, some years after Lord Henry’s death, he had it published under the title, The Late Lord Henry Bentinck on Foxhounds: Goodall’s Practice.

"Goodall’s Practice,” says Captain Clarke, “is the best treatise on hunting hounds ever written.” The revered Master and hound breeder Isaac “Ikey” Bell, the single individual most responsible for the modern English foxhound, is said to have had Goodall’s Practice painted on the ceiling over his bathtub. If you watch while hunting this season, you may see and recognize some of these same practices being used by your own huntsman. Here’s an extract.

People

The Hardaway-Morgan-Bell Connection

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 (seated) presents the Isaac Bell Perpetual Challenge Cup to South Tyrone Foxhounds Honorary Whipper-In Paul Kinane and huntsman Ryan Carvill for Beauty, winning un-entered female hound, at the National Irish Masters of Foxhounds Show. / Noel Mullins photo

The above photograph caught my eye because of the man in the wheelchair, Captain Tom Morgan. The photo is one of several sent by photo/journalist and author Noel Mullins, a regular contributor to Foxhunting Life, reporting on the National Irish Masters of Foxhound Show held on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Captain Morgan, now in his mid-nineties, is one of the few people still alive who intimately knew and worked closely in his hound breeding program with the late Isaac “Ikey” Bell, father of the modern English foxhound. The only other living individual I know who knew and benefitted from his relationship with Ikey Bell is Ben Hardaway, also in his mid-nineties.

If it weren’t for Ikey Bell and Tom Morgan, Ben Hardaway would not have his Hardaway Crossbred as we know it today. And if it weren’t for Bell, we wouldn’t have the modern English foxhound as we know it today.

Strictly Fun

2015 Unveiled!

calendar2015

Here’s our Foxhunting Life 2015 Calendar, featuring all new photos and ready to ship on September 1. We’ve been publishing our appointments calendar since 1998, and our annual collection of foxhunting images continues to represent the finest examples of the sporting photographer’s art.

It’s a joyful task each year to choose the cover photo. This year's cover is Douglas Lees’s composition of Piedmont huntsman Spencer Allen, expectantly drawing a rough patch of woods, horn at the ready, watching a couple of his hard working hounds pick their way in search of the fox. His horse, knowing the job at hand, is watching hounds as well. The drab winter woods, fallen stump, dead oak leaves, and bare limbs through which we see the figures are lit by a single splash of scarlet and flashes of white in the huntsman’s stocktie and britch, the bay hunter's blaze, and the hounds. A beautiful photograph telling a timeless story.

As before, photos of the hound show grand champions that you’ve been reading about in FHL throughout the hound show season are to be found inside the back cover.

Foxhunting Life Calendars will keep track of your busy schedule while they brighten up your tack room and kitchen. And they make great gifts for your cocktail party hosts and for landowners in your hunting country.

Be sure to login before ordering to receive your automatic subscriber's discount!

Click to order yours today.

 

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