Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Aiken Hounds

aiken

Aiken, SC

 

 

Website: Facebook


chad wilkes.performance trial in ncPerformance Trial huntsman Chad Wilkes in North Carolina   /   Lucy Kelsey photo

The Aiken Hounds (SC) needed a huntsman, and Chad Wilkes was available. Sounds simple enough, but it really wasn’t. The story is in the hows and whys of it: the perfect timing, the perfect match, and how it all meshes so perfectly.

In 1914 many of the most adventurous men and women of American sporting legend organized the Aiken Drag—wealthy northerners Louise Eustis Hitchcock, MFH and huntsman; her husband Thomas Hitchcock, known today as the father of steeplechase racing in America; son Tommy Hitchcock Jr., who ranks with his father as one of the greatest American polo players of all time; plus the Belmonts, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys.

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Here are the first twenty minutes of a fast moving fifty-minute coyote chase in the Green Creek Hounds (SC) hunting country. It was recorded on October 6, 2019 by Donald “DJ” Jefferis, MFH, Green Creek, during a joint meet with the Aiken Hounds (SC). The coyote makes a brief appearance. With the audio on, it will drive any dogs in your house wild with excitement.

DJ is Field Master and videographer, riding his big gray Irish Sport Horse, Pogue Mahone. The two riders in front through most of the run are Green Creek huntsman David Raley and Aiken huntsman Katherine Gunther. Occasionally seen in the clip, riding just behind DJ, is Wendy Collins Gutfarb, MFH, Aiken.

Tally Ho, Gone Away!

Posted October 14, 2019

ashley hubbardKgp photoTrial Huntsman Ashley Hubbard  /  Kgp PhotographyTwo days of hard hunting on November 6 and 7, 2018 behind a pack of fifty-four foxhounds—each of which qualified for this championship event by placing among the top ten of one or more of the performance trials over the past year—concluded the MFHA Hark Forward! Performance Trial Season. The season of performance trials, field hunter trials, and joint meets which began last year were conceived by MFHA president Tony Leahy and Master Epp Wilson, Belle Meade Hunt (GA), to reprise, during Leahy’s tenure as president, the spirit of the MFHA Centennial celebrations ten years earlier.

The Performance Trial Championship event was matured, expanded, organized, and staged to perfection by the Masters of the Midland Fox Hounds (GA) in their Fitzpatrick, Alabama hunting country. More than two hundred people representing more than forty hunts participated. Foxhounds from twenty-four hunts competed. Ashley Hubbard, professional huntsman at the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD), served as trial huntsman for this all-star pack.

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carolinas18Deep Run Warrior 2015 stands proudly for his award photograph. Judge Mary Ewing, MFH, presents the trophy for Grand Champion of Show to huntsman John Harrison. Stud groom and second whipper-in Chelsea Ray Kellerhouse is at left.

Huntsman John Harrison loves Warrior’s entire litter. “It’s the best litter in the kennels,” he says, “and Warrior is the best-looking hound in the litter.”

Apparently the judges thought so, too. Deep Run Warrior 2015 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Carolinas Hound Show hosted by the Moore County Hounds on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at the grounds of the Walthour Moss Foundation in Southern Pines, NC.

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fox with paperBennett Tucker photo

Fox News has put Aiken’s favorite critters to work as newsboys. The news empire is making a sincere effort to improve their service in Aiken, South Carolina.

“Everyone knows foxes are smart, just perfect for this job,” said a company spokesperson. “They know every square inch of their territory, they are known to run consistent routes, and, being nocturnal, they don’t oversleep. Even the earliest Aiken risers are certain to receive their morning papers on time, every day. And foxes work cheap—just a mouse.”

Photo credit goes to Bennett Tucker, a two-legged “fox” for the Aiken Hounds (SC).

Posted May 28, 2018