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Fox River Valley Hunt

foxrivervalley

Morgan, Georgia & Elizabeth, IL.

Website: www.mh-frvh.com


The sheer beauty of a level pack of foxhounds is indisputable. There is a uniformity of appearance and traits, and such a pack tends to run well together. But isn't there another option?

Why not a pack consisting of foxhounds of various types, welcoming the unique attributes of each hound type? Breeders know that no single type offers all the best attributes we want in a pack; hence the English-American Crossbred. But within those two categories there are still more individual types with more concentrated attributes that could allow each type to contribute at the appropriate stage of any hunt just when needed.

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southern18.walnu.shepherdHillsboro Walnut 2017 (Hillsboro William 2013 ex their Sable 2013) is Grand Champion of the 2018 Southern Hound Show. (L-R): Hillsboro huntsman John Gray, whipper-in Leilani Gray, Orrin Ingram, MFH, and Lee Ann Ingram / Leslie Shepherd photoThe twelfth Southern Hound Show, hosted annually by the Live Oak Hounds (FL), will be remembered for the rain and the Hillsboro Hounds (TN) entries that swept four of the five Championship classes.

Hillsboro Walnut 2017 was judged Grand Champion of Show and Champion Bi*ch. Hillsboro hounds also won the Champion Unentered and Champion Two-Couple classes. Live Oak Assault was Champion Dog Hound and Reserve Champion of Show. “For Hillsboro to win all but one of the championships is a major accomplishment for Master Orrin Ingram and Huntsman Johnny Gray,” said Daphne Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds.

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tony leahyMFHA President Tony LeahyTony Leahy, MFH of the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL), was elected to a three-year term as President of the Masters of Foxhounds Association at the Annual Meeting held on Friday, January 27, 2017 in New York. Leslie Rhett Crosby, MFH, Mooreland Hunt (AL) was elected First Vice President and Penny Denegre, MFH, Middleburg Hunt (VA) was elected Second Vice President. Also, David Twiggs was officially confirmed as the MFHA’s new Executive Director.

Retiring Executive Director Dennis Foster will remain at the office for another two months to complete David’s training. Upon his official retirement, Dennis will continue to assist the MFHA in animal rights and other areas, on a consulting basis.

I had the distinct honor of addressing the Annual Meeting crowd, the largest crowd I have ever seen, to relate how special David and his family are, and to explain President Leahy’s vision for an upcoming season of celebration. It was literally standing room only.

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virginia2015.siskin.laurenHuntsman John Gray and professional whipper-in Leilani Hrisko show Virginia Grand Champion Hillsboro Siskin '14. Looking on (l-r) are Judge J.W.Y. "Duck" Martin, Virginia Foxhound Club Co-Chairman Mrs. Richard Jones, and huntsman John Holliday, Belvoir Foxhounds (UK).  /   Lauren Giannini photo

Virginia Foxhound Show, Morven Park, May 24, 2015: Okay, says Hillsboro huntsman John Gray, if you don’t like Graphic, I’ll show you Siskin!

On May 9, 2015 at the Carolinas Hound Show, Hillsboro Graphic ’14 was judge Tony Leahy’s pick for Grand Champion of Show. Two weeks later, at the Virginia Foxhound Show, Leahy, judging in the Crossbred ring, chose un-entered Midland Striker over Graphic for the Crossbred Championship.

It proved but a minor setback for Hillsboro. In the final class of the day in the English ring, Judge Charles Frampton chose Hillsboro Siskin ‘14 as the Champion English Foxhound. So when the very last class of the day rolled around—Grand Champion of Show—English Champion Siskin faced off against Crossbred Champion Midland Striker, who had just beaten Siskin’s kennel mate, Carolinas Grand Champion Graphic, for the breed championship.

The other formidable opponents in the ring were un-entered American Champion, Orange County Kermit and Penn-Marydel Champion, De La Brooke Tullamoore ’11. But Hillsboro was not to be denied. Judge J.W.Y. “Duck” Martin crowned Hillsboro Siskin ’14 Grand Champion of Show. Crossbred Champion Midland Striker was Reserve, and Hillsboro leaves town with two Grand Champion foxhounds in the last two hound shows!.

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Foxhunting over Horizon Farms, once owned by the late William McGinley, MFH during the 1990s of the Fox River Valley Hunt, faces an uncertain future. The property was purchased by the Cook County Forest Preserve District this year. At a meeting held to hear public opinion on uses for the almost 400-acre site, many Barrington residents voiced support for equestrian use but disapproval for foxhunting and mountain biking there.

Located in Barrington Hills, Horizon Farms is said to be under a conservation easement. Barrington Hills has long been associated with equine interests. It is home to Hill ‘N Dale Farms which belongs to Richard Duchossois, owner of the Arlington Park racetrack and boasts tack shops and school teams named Broncos and Colts.

Horizon Farms is the Forest Preserve District’s largest land acquisition since 1968, according to the Barrington Courier Review, a publication of the Chicago Sun-Times. The purchase is currently being litigated, but Forest Preserve District officials express confidence in a court ruling favorable to their purchase.

It's a sad irony that foxhunting, an activity that meant so much to McGinley who preserved the land in perpetuity, might be banished from it.

Click for more information in Bridget O’Shea’s article.

Posted June 20, 2014

 

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