Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Here you will find reviews of, selections from, and commentaries concerning books, many of which don't even appear on Amazon's radar. But what goldmines for the literate foxhunter!

Two Views

Foxhunting Life takes pleasure in publishing the winning entry in the United States Pony Club annual Hildegard Neill Ritchie Joys of Foxhunting Writing Contest for 2011.

As one of the contest judges, I was impressed by Katy Ropp’s vibrant depictions of sounds, smells, and sensations. Katie, 15, is a D-3 member of the Kalamazoo Valley II Pony Club in the Great Lakes Region.

My Hounds...

shakespeareThe kids are back to school in their quest for higher knowledge, and it remains our challenge to keep up with them. To help you meet that challenge, Foxhunting Life offers up a little Shakespeare.

In Act IV, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theseus prepares to impress Hyppolita with his hounds. She, having hunted with Hercules, however, gives Theseus a hard act to follow!

Raja: Story of a Racehorse

Raja_cover_onlyRaja: Story of a Racehorse, Anne Hambleton, Old Bow Publishing, 2011, 250 pages, illustrated by Peggy Kaufmann, $14.95The fictional adventures and travails of a well-bred Thoroughbred foal are chronicled from the early days by his dam’s side to a Grade 1 Stakes win, to the jumpers in the “A” circuit, to the New York City Mounted Police, to foxhunting with Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds, to the Blue Ridge Hunt point-to-point, and finally to the Maryland Hunt Cup. As a foal, Raja is cursed with a phobia for lightning—the recurring source of his many troubles along the way in achieving his potential.

This may be Anne Hambleton’s first novel, but she has had plenty of practice honing her writing skills in the business side of her life. On the equine side, Hambleton is a horsewoman who knows all the disciplines intimately, and Raja’s adventures unfold believably and with authority. The characters in the story—both animal and human—are well-crafted, and we care about them.

The Mardale Hunt

black.ron.portraitAuthor Ron Black...In the north-eastern corner of the English Lake District there is a valley known as Mardale. This secluded valley contains a lake, under which rest the remains of a submerged village. The occupants of the village were shepherds who tended the local sheep high on the unforgiving fells surrounding the valley. Once a year they would meet to exchange strayed sheep, and from these humble beginnings The Mardale Shepherds Meet—best-known of all the meets of the Lakeland Fell foxhound packs—began.

It is often said that the origin of the meet is “older than the memory of man.” The introduction of the Ullswater Foxhounds increased the popularity of the meet, which soon attracted a much larger following than just the local shepherds. In the evening a public house called The Dun Bull was the venue for song and laughter. In time, The Mardale Shepherds Meet achieved worldwide fame.