http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/riverhills-2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/casanovahunt2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/misty_morning2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/fairfield_2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/longrun2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/gch1_2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/tvhrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/nhcrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/odhrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/ehhrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/gmhrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/warrenton2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/bmhrev2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/radnor2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/piedmont2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/goshen2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/brh2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/gch2_2013_466_211.jpg
http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/images/resized/images/topphoto/cheshire2013_466_211.jpg
 

Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

 

Piedmont Fox Hounds


Timber Horses Romp at Piedmont
Horses
Written by Norman Fine   

piedmont14.open timberRunning for the Rokeby Bowl are (l-r) winner Dakota Slew (Robert Walsh up) and Zulla Road (Woods Winants up). / Douglas Lees photo

Virginia point-to-point fans were treated to a full weekend of racing on March 22 and 23, 2014. The Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point went off as scheduled on Saturday and the Blue Ridge Hunt races, postponed from their original date, were held on Sunday. In a spirit of cooperation, races over fences were split so that Piedmont ran timber races and Blue Ridge ran just hurdle (brush) races, thus assuring a good field of entries for each specialty.

In the Open Timber Race, Zulla Road (Woods Winants up) set the pace for the first mile, but Dakota Slew ridden by Robert Walsh took control from there to the wire. Skunked ran a strong second, but Dakota Slew in prevailing notched his second consecutive Rokeby Bowl win. Dakota Slew is owned by Magalen Bryant and trained by Richard Valentine. Ms. Bryant shared last season’s Virginia Leading Owner title with Pennsylvanian Irvin Naylor. Although Winants pulled up Zulla Road in that race, the fourth on the card, he had earlier shown his 2013 Virginia Leading Rider form by winning the first two races of the day, Maiden Timber and Amateur Highweight Timber.

Log in to read more, or click here to subscribe
 
The Whipper-In Is the Huntsman's Right Hand
Our Hunting World
Written by Norman Fine   

neil.amatt.kleckNeil Amatt, professional whipper-in, Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA): “Anticipation, punctuality, how you present yourself—all these things are drilled into you in the English system. You start in the kennels, and you have to really want it before you’re even allowed on a horse.” / Nancy Kleck photo

Last season, after forty-five years of hunting, I witnessed a simple act of sophisticated whipping-in that left me shaking my head in admiration. For a huntsman or an experienced whipper-in, it was perhaps no big deal.

My hunt fielded an all-new professional staff last season—huntsman and whipper-in—both of whom were learning the country on the fly. Hounds had checked in a thick covert, and we in the field could see them, heads down, trying to recover the line. The whipper-in came galloping by headed for the end of the covert.

“Over here,” called the Field Master, pointing to a concealed trail. “You can get in over here.”

The whipper-in came back, talked urgently to the Field Master, then turned his horse and continued in the direction he was originally going.

After the meet I asked him what that exchange was all about.

Log in to read more, or click here to subscribe
 
Nancy Dillon Honored
People
Written by Norman Fine   

nancy dillon.callarNancy Dillon has taught children to ride and hunt for nearly half a century. / Liz Callar photo

Nancy Dillon is a living, legendary treasure of the Piedmont Fox Hounds in Virginia. She is the longest subscribing member of the hunt, having started hunting at age eight in 1943. For nearly a half century she has taught and led more children into the hunting field than anyone can count. Her truck and trailer pulling into the meet have been likened to the car at the circus where the clowns just keep coming out.

On Friday, November 8, 2013, the hunt threw a party at Buchanan Hall in Upperville to screen a specially-produced documentary—Lessons in the Piedmont—in tribute to Nancy. Throughout this beautifully-produced and heart-warming film, children (some grown, others still growing), Masters, hunt members, and citizens of the community expressed their love for this woman and their heart-felt appreciation for what she has done to instill a love of the sport, respect for the land, and personal values to generations of children.

Log in to read more, or click here to subscribe
 
Neil Amatt Is 2013 North American Horn Blowing Champion
Latest
Written by Norman Fine   

neil amatt.2013.al cookHorn Blowing Championship trophy is presented to Neil Amatt by Richard Hornberger. Ringmaster is John Franzreb. / AlCookPhoto.com

Neil Amatt, whipper-in to the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA), won the 2013 North American Horn Blowing Championship on Monday, October 14. This final horn blowing competition of the season is held annually during Hunt Night activities at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Hunt staff members across North America qualify to compete for the championship by winning a horn blowing contest at any one of the MFHA-sanctioned hound shows held the previous spring.

Previous winners have been Andrew Barclay, Sam Clifton, Emma Downing, Steve Farrin, Tommy Jackson, Brian Kiely, Ian Milne, Charles Montgomery, Adrian Smith, and John Tabachka.

A perpetual trophy engraved with the name of each year’s winner remains on permanent display at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.

Posted October 17, 2013

 
The Dawgs of Dixie
Hunting Days of Yore
Written by Norman Fine   

willie poole.jim atkins.leesDouglas Lees photo

In 1989, ghosts of the Great Hound Match of 1905 were awakened from their long slumber in the Piedmont Fox Hounds country of Virginia when Ben Hardaway, MFH of the Midland Fox Hounds (GA), brought his pack of Crossbreds (English crosses on American July bloodlines) to duel on alternating hunting days with Piedmont’s pack of Crossbreds (English crosses on old Virginia bloodlines).

Piedmont huntsman Jim Atkins (right), who passed away just this year, hunted the home pack. The colorful author/journalist Willy Poole (left) came from England to cover the match for the Daily Telegraph, whose weekend headline proclaimed, “Let Slip the Dixie Dawgs of War!”

Poole was awarded the O.B.E. by his queen for services to journalism and rural affairs in 2001. Three years later the Hunting Act was passed banning foxhunting in England, and Poole, who always marched to his own drummer, protested in his own way by moving to Normandy.

Posted October 13, 2013

 
2013 North American Field Hunter Championships Survive Summer Temps
Horses
Written by Susan Monticelli   

nafhc13.teresa.callar2013 North American Field Hunter Champion Greyland Woods, owned by Karen Mantz and ridden by daughter Teresa Croce, jumps to victory over Judge Jean Derrick's scarlet coat (Belle Meade colors). / Liz Callar photo

Blistering hot weather visited Virginia for the past four weeks. While not unusual this time of year, the length of the hot spell, with temperatures hovering in the high eighties and even reaching into the low nineties, has proved miserable to man and beast alike, but it failed to deter foxhunters who entered this year's North American Field Hunter Championships.

On Monday, September 30, the Championships began at Keswick. Hounds met at Glenwood, a fixture in the neighborhood of James Madison's Montpelier, outside the town of Orange. Contestants from as far away as Florida and Georgia traveled to compete in the event, as well as to enjoy early autumn hunting in Virginia. They were not disappointed. Keswick huntsman Tony Gammell provided a fine day of sport in the lovely rolling countryside as hounds ran across the nearby road, back again, and beyond the fixture into a scenic expanse of woods and cornfields. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a tailgate as five contestants were selected for the finals.

On Tuesday, October 1, hounds met at Owl Run Farm in Warrenton, home of Casanova Hunt Joint-Master Mrs. Joyce Fendley. Previously the home of Donna and Jack Eicher, huntsman at Rombout and later Farmington Hunt, the grounds include a lake and a cluster of graceful weeping willows out front. The residence and barns all exude the charm of old Virginia Hunt Country—weathered stone, stout board and batten, low eaves and metal roofs. A special surprise awaited the field this morning when shortly after casting hounds, an eruption in a cornfield revealed that hounds had encountered a black bear! Fortunately, the pack obeyed their orders to ignore the bear as it beat a hasty retreat. The remainder of the morning proved quieter, and as the field hacked in, Mrs. Fendley positioned herself, as she always does at the end of a hunt, such that she could personally thank everyone in the field as they passed by on their way to their trailer. This small but thoughtful act is just one of many that make hunting in Virginia so special and unique. It was a hot, thirsty, and tired field that gathered under a tent to drink and devour a delicious crab dip while recalling the excitement of having gone on their first bear hunt! This morning, six finalists were announced.

Log in to read more, or click here to subscribe
 
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »


Page 1 of 5

Share Foxhunting Life with your Friends