Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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01_13over_CH_LRG_0511_FHLEmily Digney and Mr. Goodbar, Farmington Hunt, were Champion, 13 and Over.With more than two hundred entries, organizers Douglas Wise, MFH Old Dominion Hounds (VA), and Iona Pillion, Blue Ridge Hunt (VA), were thrilled to observe that the 2011 Junior North American Field Hunter Championship drew the biggest fields to date in the nine years of this unique trial. The program listed twenty-one finalists in Hilltoppers, twenty-two in First Field 12 & Under, and twenty-one in First Field 13 & Over. On November 6, 2011, trailers from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia gathered in the heart of the Warrenton Hunt country for what is turning into a huge event that bodes well for the future of foxhunting.

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Ray_7_copyRay Carter hunting the New Market-Middletown Valley hounds in 1981 / Janet Hitchen photoRaymond Allaeys Carter died peacefully at home in Middletown, Maryland on June 20, 2011 from complications related to prostate cancer. Ray was born in Yorkshire, England in 1930. Times were tough in those years and money was scarce. Ray, however, with a natural love of horses always found a way to beg rides on farmer’s draft horses returning from work in the fields.

He cleaned stalls at a local stable to be able to ride. He was a natural athlete and was soon riding some of the fancier ponies in local gymkhanas. When he finished school at age fourteen, his parents, loath to let him work in the local mines, arranged an apprenticeship for him with a racing stable in Newmarket. He was basically an indentured servant, receiving only a pound a month for learning a trade. At the end of five years he was earning twenty pounds a year.

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Betsy and friends escape frozen Virginia for a week of hunting in warmer climes. We bring you her daily blog, exclusive to Foxhunting Life. 

First Installment

2011_Aiken_Day_2Don Palus, Dawn Cline, Maggie Johnston, and Jackie Burke stretch their horses' legs in the Hitchcock Woods in preparation for Hunt Week in Aiken, SC.

It poured rain last night. Woke up several times with rain pelting the tin roof of our cottage, but when I opened the door to see if we were going to float away I couldn't help notice it was weirdly warm. Like sixty degrees warm! Odd.

This morning dawned light and sunny and toasty warm. I stripped down to just my turtleneck layer for the horse trials next door.

At Full Gallop Farm, they hold training horse trials—intermediate level all the way down to beginner novice—attracting hundreds of competitors. Our Hunt Week crew is volunteering for duty to "earn" the right to school/ride/hack over their hundreds of acres of cross country jumps, show jumping fences, and dressage arenas.

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Anita_Baarns_2010I was born in France, raised in Holland, and came to the United States in 1988. While visiting friends over Christmas, I met my future husband and decided to study Fine Arts. I graduated summa cum laude from Northern Virginia Community College, and summa cum laude from the University Of Maryland in Studio Fine Arts. In 1993 I moved from Washington, DC to our farm in Loudoun County, Virginia, and established my studio.

I had been painting large abstract paintings in art school, so I began painting impressionistic landscapes. One day a neighbor asked if I could copy a George Stubbs painting of Mares and Foals from a table coaster. Since horses are my second love, I gladly accepted my first commission. A second Stubbs commission followed, and I started to develop an interest in sporting art.

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