Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Blue Ridge Hunt

BRHButton-80

The Blue Ridge Hunt was organized in 1888, but this gently rolling grassland in the Valley of the Shenandoah echoed to the music of hounds, the huntsman’s horn, and the rhythm of galloping horses long before that time. A youthful George Washington regularly followed the hounds of his friend and employer Thomas, sixth Lord Fairfax nearly three hundred years ago over the very same hills and fields and along the same twists and turns of the Shenandoah River as do the Blue Ridge hounds today.

Website:  www.blueridgehunt.org

bryn mawr22.och pimple.kkandraOrange County Pimple 2019  /  Karen Kandra photo

Orange County Pimple overcame the burden of her name to be judged Grand Champion of Show at the 2022 Bryn Mawr Hound Show held at the Radnor Hunt Club on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

First held in 1914, this is the oldest and longest-running hound show in North America. Hounds are shown in six rings: English Foxhounds, American Foxhounds, Crossbred Foxhounds, Penn-Marydel Foxhounds, Beagles, and Bassets.

Judges for the final Grand Champion Class were Charlotte Buttrick, ex-MFH, Farmington Hunt (VA), and Coleman Perrin, Ex-MFH, Deep Run Hunt (VA).

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Teddy DaviesJump race jockey Teddy Davies, a teenager, already a record holder, and having a breakout season in sanctioned racing. Here, Davies rides Brave Deacon in the second race at Blue Ridge, Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdles.  /   Joanne Maisano photo

Trainer Joseph Davies stood at the Entry desk on Sunday, April 17, 2022. It was at Woodley Farm near Berryville, Virginia, the traditional venue for the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Races. Davies trains racehorses for steeplechasing but was in earlier days a winning steeplechase jockey himself. And a two-time winner of the Maryland Hunt Cup, the stiffest timber race in the world. Davies was paying for his race entries and picking up the numbered saddle cloths.

A few other trainers waited their turn. “Congratulations, Joe, on your wins yesterday. And here you are again today!”

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Each hound in this pack is a top-ten qualifier from one of nine qualifying foxhound performance trials held across North America this season.

houndtrial21.winning hounds.maisanoTrial Huntsman Epp Wilson and his guide, huntsman Graham Buston, in the Blue Ridge country  /  Joanne Maisano photo

This Blog is to celebrate an exclusive pack of foxhounds that will hunt the fox at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, North Carolina, from March 25−27, 2022. The hound that earns the top score in this trial will be named the 2022 National Champion Performance Trial Foxhound.

Each hound in this unique pack earned its place by qualifying in one or more two-day performance trials held over this season from coast to coast. To qualify for this, the National Championship Performance Trial, each hound here compiled a score during its qualifying trial that placed it among the top-ten scoring hounds in that trial.

Why should that matter to hunt officers, Masters, huntsmen, hound breeders, and field members?

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Video by James Tonery

Farnley Farm in White Post, Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Hunt hosted seventeen Cleveland Bays and Cleveland Bay crosses for their annual reunion hunt. Representatives of the breed―all plain bays!―arrived from all points of the compass on November 13, 2021, and enjoyed a spectacular day of hunting.

Farnley is an entirely appropriate fixture for this annual reunion of Cleveland Bay horses and meeting of the Blue Ridge hounds. In the 1930s, Farnley was home to the late Alexander Mackay-Smith and where he bred the first Cleveland Bays to be foaled in America.

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Middleburg Brings a Lovable Veteran; Blue Ridge Shows Depth

hound trials.brh.epp.maisanoTrial Huntsman Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade, leading hounds, is ready to mount up and move off for the second day of the Bull Run/Blue Ridge Performance Trials. Directly behind is his guide through the country, Blue Ridge huntsman Graham Buston. Judge Grosvenor Merle-Smith, ex-MFH, is on foot. The faces visible behind Grosvenor are (l-r) Lindsay LeHew, her father, Jeff LeHew, MFH, Blue Ridge, Anne McIntosh, MFH, Blue Ridge, and whipper-in Ross Salter. / Joanne Maisano photo

The fourth Foxhound Performance Trial of the 2021/2022 season was hosted jointly by the Bull Run Hunt and the Blue Ridge Hunt in Virginia. Hounds hunted on Saturday, October 23, 2021, in the Bull Run hunting country of open farmland, fields, and woods, followed by dinner and first-day awards. On Sunday, October 24, hounds hunted in the Blue Ridge country by the western banks of the Shenandoah River through open flood plains, over scarcely negotiable cliffs above the river, through woods, and across open farmland.

Hounds from eight hunts competed: Blue Ridge Hunt, Bull Run Hunt, Deep Run Hunt (VA), Farmington Hunt (VA), Marlborough Hunt (MD), Middleburg Hunt (VA), Rappahannock Hunt (VA), and Thornton Hill Hounds (VA).

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