Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Aiken Hounds

aiken

Aiken, SC

 

 

Website: Facebook


 lori and karen“He’s hunted twice; let’s take him to the Field Trial.” Author Lori Brunnen in the foreground, riding Sunny. Saved from the abattoir, he took to the hunting field like a veteran. Karen Miller accompanies Lori.  /   Amy Gesell photo

Since last year I have been trying to hunt with George Harne’s private Maryland pack, the Last Chance Hounds. This season I finally managed one day out with them and had a great morning, despite having Frankie’s bridle slip off, falling flat rectifying it, and finally being dragged a ways on my stomach. At least I did not let go. It was kindly described at breakfast as being “seventy-five percent elegant.” This is a small, close-knit group, and I felt lucky to have been able to join them.

Shortly after this outing I learned that friend Karen Miller was accompanying them to the Moore County Hound Performance Trial, an MFHA Hark Forward event in North Carolina the second weekend in October. We agreed to drive down together. The six hounds entered were traveling with huntsman Lisa Reid and whipper-in Marie LaBaw. Master George Harne was driving down with his friend, Roy Good, leaving at 1:30 Friday morning because George said he would be “too excited to sleep” anyway. Lisa and Marie were leaving at 4:30 Friday morning. Despite the fact that the first trial event was not until 4:00 pm Friday, Karen and I simultaneously agreed we were leaving at “10 o’clock Thursday morning.” No getting up in the dark unless absolutely necessary. This is an annual trip for the group but the first Performance Trial for Karen and me. We were stoked.

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carolinas17.dtafford.geri desousaGrand Champion Hillsboro Stafford is one member of an exceptional un-entered litter by Midland Striker '15. /  Geri DeSousa photo

Hillsboro Hounds (TN) huntsman Johnnie Gray sidestepped his usual protocol and made a breeding decision that turned out quite well. Two years ago in the show rings his own hounds came up against Midland Striker a few times, and Johnnie liked the yet un-entered Midland dog hound. Before sending a bi*ch* out to be bred, however, Johnnie’s practice is first to see the potential sire in the hunting field so he knows that it hunts well. At that point, no one had yet seen Striker in the hunting field.

“I didn’t want to take a chance and wait another year—who knows what might happen?—and I knew Striker’s sire and dam were good hunting hounds. The bi*ch I wanted to breed was Warwickshire Daylight 2012. There was no question about her hunting ability, so I went ahead and sent her to Striker at Midland.”

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larry wheeler.crossing the creek

Cross Gate Gallery (Lexington) has curated a one-man exhibition of paintings by renowned sporting artist Larry Dodd Wheeler at the Willcox Hotel in Aiken, SC. The Opening Reception was held on Feb 24, 2017, and the paintings will hang through April 14.

The Willcox Hotel is a popular Aiken meeting place for horsepeople of many disciplines---foxhunting, eventing, racing, and polo---and Larry Wheeler's art should find an enthusiastic audience there. Members and hunting visitors from the Aiken Hounds (SC), Whiskey Road Foxhounds (SC), Why Worry Hounds (SC), and Belle Meade Hunt (GA) are seen at the Willcox throughout the season for cocktails and dinner and especially on Hunt Nights (Tuesdays).

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wws heythrop r achelWhy Worry Hounds' Heythrop Rachel 2011 is Grand Champion of the 2016 Carolinas Hound Show.

Why Worry’s Heythrop Rachel 2011 was judged Grand Champion at the fortieth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South Carolina on May 7, 2016. It’s one thing for a visiting MFH to pick up a nice draft to bring back to the home kennels; it’s another thing entirely to know what to do with it. Here’s where George and Jeannie Thomas, MFHs, Why Worry Hounds (SC), showed their breeding acumen.

While visiting friends in England and judging a puppy show at the Heythrop kennels, George mentioned that he needed a bi*ch* to introduce new bloodlines into his breeding program. We have just the hound for you, he was told. So he brought home a nicely-bred entered bi*ch, Heythrop Rachel 2011.

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carolinas15.david traxlerGrand Champion Hillsboro Graphic '14 with professional whipper-in Leilani Hrisko. Judges (l-r) are MFHs Tony Leahy and Dr. Jack Van Nagell / David Traxler photoHillsboro Graphic '14 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the thirty-ninth annual Carolinas Hound Show held at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, South Carolina on May 8 and 9, 2015.

Whelped to royal bloodlines—American on the sire’s side and English on the dam’s side—it should have been no surprise to see Graphic garner top honors. Her sire is Hillsboro Jethro '08, son of the magnificent Potomac Jefferson '05, Grand Champion Foxhound at Virginia in the year of the MFHA Centennial celebration, 2007.

On the dam’s side, Graphic goes back in tail female to North Cotswold Grapefruit '95, a Peterborough Champion and dam of several influential foxhounds in North America including Iroquois Grundy '98, Master Jerry Miller’s all-time favorite foxhound, and Mid-Devon Grocer '00, sire of Virginia and Bryn Mawr champion hounds from Blue Ridge.

Foxhounds from fourteen hunts and five states trod the flags at Carolinas: Aiken, Camden, DeLa Brooke, Green Creek, Hillsboro, Keswick, Lowcountry, Moore County, Red Mountain, Sedgefield, Tennessee Valley, Tryon, Whiskey Road, and Why Worry.

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