Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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About the Bridlespur Hunt

bridlespurHuntsman Eleanor Hartwell and houndsThe Bridlespur Hunt was founded in 1927 with the inspiration, support, and assistance of the late much-loved gentleman and sportsman, Mr. August A. Busch, Sr., with an original draft of hounds from the well-known Joseph B. Thomas-Percy Rockefeller pack at Overhills, North Carolina. The pack consisted entirely of American hounds, or, as better known, Virginia hounds. The hunt was recognized by the MFHA in 1929.

By careful breeding, observation, and culling of the less desirable, the two early guiding spirits of the hunt, Mr. August A. Busch, Jr. and Mr. Adalbert von Gontard, Sr., developed a pack with most excellent nose and voice. They began to hunt the area of west St. Louis County, with kennels on Squires Lane in Huntleigh. The Bridlespur hounds have gone out twice a week since that time, even during the war years of 1941 to 1946, when a great many hunts in this country were forced to cease activities.

After the development of west St. Louis County began making it impossible to foxhunt, under the leadership of Andrew J. Shinkle, MFH and James B. Orthwein, MFH new kennels, clubhouse, and skeet shooting range were completed in St. Charles County, and the country west of Weldon Springs, which includes the vast Busch Wildlife Area, was opened and paneled.

Through the years English foxhound bloodlines have been bred into the pack, developing an excellent Crossbred pack. Many hunts throughout the country have found it necessary to cross their American hounds with English hounds to obtain more control. This has become more important as the rural areas have developed and highways have appeared. The English hound is more acceptance of discipline and control, and crossbreeding has helped in this area without sacrificing the voice and drive of the American hound.

The Bridlespur Hunt is involved in many endeavors throughout the year other than actual foxhunting. We make our facility available to many organizations to further the proliferation and enjoyment of horse-related activities in the St. Louis area. In addition to our annual Bridlespur Charity Horse Show, we hold schooling shows, hunter paces, and hunter trials, all of which are open to the public.

Our membership consists of a cross section of businessmen and women, professional persons, housewives, students, etc., all bound together by their love of riding to hounds or simply their interest in belonging to a group who loves the outdoors and takes pleasure in horse-related activities.

Leslie Granger

Bridlespur Hunt


Eolia, Missouri, Lincoln County


kuenzi.heatherThe authorPicture this: four hunts—Bridlespur Hunt (MO), Full Cry Hounds (AL), Grand Canyon Hounds (AZ),and Mill Creek Hunt (IL)—bringing their best three couple of hounds to the field; thirty-five enthusiastic mounted riders; and sweeping vistas of open hunting country loaded with coyotes. This made for an action-packed five days of foxhunting activities consisting of a three-day Foxhound Performance Trial, foot hunting with the bassets, and a joint meet of foxhounds. It all took place at the  Flint Hills Invitational Performance Trial, held on March 7-9, 2012, generously hosted by the Moingona Hunt staff and members. The Flint Hills area of Kansas is an immense rolling prairie of tallgrass and recognized as one of America’s unique treasures.

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Click any photo to open a slideshow

Eleanor Hartwell Huntsman
Jean Mutrux and Gene Deutsch MFH
Jill Wagenknecht MFH and Eleanor Hartwell Huntsman
Eleanor Hartwell BH Huntsman followed by Brenda Yost Huntsman MillCreek

brazos_valley_meadowBrazos Valley Meadow, shown by Sandy Dixon, MFH and huntsman, is Grand Champion. Standing (l-r): Dr. Robert Smith, ex-MFH, Ringmaster; Bobby Dixon; John (Jake) Carle, ex-MFH, Judge; Terry Olsen, MFHIt was Mom’s day out on Mother’s Day weekend for Brazos Valley Meadow 2006. She was judged Best Hound of Show at the Central States Hound Show on May 7, 2011. Among the other division champions over which she prevailed was her son, Brazos Valley Mystic 2010, who just a month earlier had been judged Grand Champion at the Southwest Hound Show.

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