The primal fears of our ancestors remain not that far beneath the surface of our psyche. We think of ourselves as sophisticated human beings. Superior to the animals around us. We communicate well between ourselves. But can we cross that border to reach understanding with other wild species? I had an incident that challenged my rational mind and brought to the surface some deep, dark fears from the primeval past.
It was early November, the time of year when I like to get my small country property tidied up and put to bed for its long winter sleep. I had been tied up with city matters for most of the day and returned home with just enough daylight hours left to finish some cleanup work on the three-acre field at the back of the property. This remote little idyl borders on the cedar swamp which marks the property line to the west.
Gustav Schickedanz, ex-MFH, Eglinton and Caledon Hunt (ON), 2009 inductee into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, emigré from war-ravaged Europe, died peacefully at his Schönberg Farm in Ontario on Monday, June 17, 2019. A horseman from his earliest days, Gus was a loveable, courtly, and fascinating man who had personally witnessed the best and the worst of life’s offerings during his ninety years on this planet.
Gus’s life trajectory included the pleasures of a childhood with horses on the three hundred acre family farm in East Prussia, the terror of his family’s flight from the Russians across Germany in World War II, the struggles of gaining entrance to Canada and a new life, achieving wealth through building a successful construction and development company from scratch, the breeding of stakes winners, and the satisfactions derived from devotion to family, horses, and foxhunting.
The sixty-fifth annual Canadian Foxhound Show was hosted by the London Hunt (ON) on Saturday, June 8, 2019.
Giving the younger foxhounds a fighting chance for glory, Toronto and North York Hunt (ON) entered their Blue Ridge Wentworth 2015, a veteran of four seasons of hunting, only in the class for Stallion Hounds. That was enough for Wentworth, though. After winning that class, he vanquished all he met on his way to being judged Grand Champion of Show at Canada for the second time since 2017. This was his third Grand Championship since Bryn Mawr in 2016. Wentworth has an interesting history both in the field and on the flags.
The Eglinton and Caledon Hounds (ON) have long been noted for excellent live hunting. Drag hunting has been considered on occasions, but the decision has always been made to stay with pursuing the plentiful live coyotes in the hunt club’s southern countryside. It is not surprising then that the one attempt to incorporate some drag hunting with live hunting did not go according to plan.
The occasion was at one of the meets during the highly successful Ontario Festival of Hunting. The biennial Festival was spearheaded by the late Walter Pady, MFH of the Toronto and North York Hunt with the support of the five Ontario and and Quebec clubs during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Ottawa Valley Hunt’s Toronto and North York Cloud 2012 was judged Grand Champion of Show at the Canadian Hound Show. The show was hosted by the London Hunt (ON) and held on the grounds of the London Hunt and Country Club, Saturday, June 9, 2018.
In addition to Ottawa Valley, hounds were shown by Eglinton and Caledon, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Toronto and North York, and Wellington-Waterloo Hunts.
Ottawa Valley huntsman Antony Gaylard bred and entered Cloud while huntsman at the Toronto and North York Hunt (ON). When Gaylard departed T&NY to return as huntsman to Ottawa Valley, he took Cloud and others of his breeding with him, with permission, as is customary. Though technically English, Cloud has Crossbred lines in both sides of her pedigree. And an impressive pedigree it is, with outstanding tail lines—both male and female.