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Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound

 

By the Way

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Potpourri: Click a Thumbnail and see where it takes you!

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Literature

Excerpt from "Reynard the Fox"

john masefieldThis joyful image of foxhounds arriving at the meet, conscious all the while of the attentive whipper-in, is an excerpt from the chapter, Hounds, in John Masefield’s epic poem, Reynard the Fox, written in 1919. John Masefield was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 to 1967. [Note: Dansey is the whipper-in, and Maroon is his horse.]

There was a general turn of faces,
The men and horses shifted places,
And around the corner came the hunt,
Those feathery things, the hounds, in front,
Intent, wise, dipping, trotting, straying,
Smiling at people, shoving, playing,
Nosing to children’s faces, waving
Their feathery sterns, and all behaving,
One eye to Dansey on Maroon.

Videos

Forrard Aloft!

Photographer Adrian Jennings has discovered a unique way to follow hounds. Enjoy this short video clip of  the Mooreland Hunt foxhounds in Alabama.

Posted April 8, 2014

Art

Antique Hunting Scene or War?

ivory carving closeCloseup view

Grotesque as this sculptured scene may appear—men and women trampled under a rush of mounted riders on horses, accompanied by dogs on leads—the collector believes that this antique ivory carving is a fox hunt, not a war scene, because of the dress, dogs, and accouterment. He has asked Jaynie Spector at Dog and Horse Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina to offer this carving.

Ms. Spector has studied with Sotheby’s in London, worked as an art advisor, worked at Christie’s Contemporary Art Department, and spent years at a Soho art gallery in New York before starting her own art gallery in Charleston. While the carving boasts provenance from a gallery in Paris, Spector believes it is the work of a German sculptor.

Literature

Outrageous Fortune

outrageous fortuneOutrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle, Anthony Russell, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2013, 306 pages, Illustrated, $26.99Imagine having two grandmothers who both live in their own castles. Anthony Russell, a writer, musician, and composer in Los Angeles, comes from a family that served England’s kings and queens for five hundred years, which left them very, very wealthy…wealthy enough for his grandmums to purchase castles in England and Ireland.

Russell tells the story of a childhood at the highest levels of British aristocracy in Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle. His father, Lord Ampthill, was Prince Philip’s roommate at boarding school. Lord Ampthill also was known as “the Russell baby,” whose paternity and conception were at the heart of a sensational divorce case in the 1920s and a court challenge to his right to the title.

Lord Amptill’s mother (Lady Ampthill, she of the castle in Ireland) swore that he was the son of her husband, despite the fact that their marriage was never fully consummated. (It all had something to do with a bath sponge.)

Lady Ampthill (the author's grandmother) was a well-recognized figure hunting with the County Galway Foxhounds (the Blazers). She rode side saddle well into her later years, until suffering a fatal accident in the hunting field in 1976.

Norm Fine's Blog

Why We Cover the Hunt Races

NormanMy answer to the question is threefold: first, the very notion of the point-to-point race originated with foxhunters; second, many of our great field hunters have come from the ranks of the timber horses, and conversely many of the best steeplechase horses have their start in the hunting field; and third, most of the steeplechase jockeys are foxhunters as well.

As Catherine Austen reminds us in Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder, “Hunt racing has its roots firmly lodged in the hunting field. Point-to-pointing started when two hunting men, Edmund Blake and Cornelius O’Callaghan, challenged each other to a race in 1752 for four-and-a-half miles across country from Buttevant Church to Donraile Church in County Cork. They jumped everything in their path, and by keeping the steeple of Donraile Church in sight (steeple-chasing), the two men kept to the planned route along the banks of the Awbeg River. The same line can still be taken while hunting with the Duhallow Foxhounds now.

“Amateur jump racing evolved from there....”

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