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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!

The Mardale Hunt: Chapters 8 to 10

The_Dun_Bull_1920The Dun Bull Hotel, 1920Here are Chapters 8 to 10 of The Mardale Hunt by Ron Black. Through the courtesy of the author, Foxhunting Life is bringing you the entire book in installments every two weeks. You are free to download the book to your computer. We hope you have enjoyed the previous installments. There is one more installment to follow, which will complete the manuscript.

Excerpt from Chapter 8

"A man walked over the pass from Kentmere to play the piano at each shepherds meet. He wore a fancy waistcoat with pockets. After two days of playing the piano, he ran out of money he’d earned for his efforts, so on the third morning he set off to walk home again. When he reached the top of the Nan Bield pass, he sat down to have a smoke, feeling in his waistcoat pocket for tobacco, he found half a sovereign, so he returned to the Dun Bull for another two days."

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Connect with the author by clicking here.

(To access downloads of previous installments, click here.)

Posted February 10, 2012

The Mardale Hunt: Chapters 11 and 12

mardale_church.beforeThe Mardale Church in happy times

mardale_church.after
Ready for demoloition

Here are the final chapters of The Mardale Hunt by Ron Black. Through the courtesy of the author, Foxhunting Life has brought you the entire book in installments, with an invitation to download each installment to your computer.

Generations of Ron Black’s family have followed the Ullswater foxhounds at the Mardale Shepherds Meet both before the flood and after. The demolition of the ancient village, the relocation of the villagers, and the construction of a new Dun Bull Hotel and a new church were wrenching changes for inhabitants and hunting visitors alike.

Ron’s life underwent its own wrenching change when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. A side effect of his medication produced insomnia, and, with more waking hours to fill, he decided to collect all the history of this famous meet—records of the hunts, the many songs written and sung at the Dun Bull in tribute to huntsman Joe Bowman, and the story of the Manchester Water Project as it affected the lives of this community of sheep farmers. We hope you have enjoyed it.

In the course of bringing these downloads to you, we had a happy idea for the future. Please see Norm Fine’s Blog (above) for details!

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Connect with the author by clicking here.

(To access downloads of previous installments, click here.)

Posted February 22, 2012

In Mr. Knox's Country

mrs. knoxMrs. Knox -Illustration by E. Somerville“‘He's sleeping at Tory Lodge,’ said Mrs. Knox.  ‘He's cubbing at Drumvoortneen, and he has to start early.  He tried to torment me into allowing him to keep the hounds in the yard here this season, but I had the pleasure of telling him that old as I might be, I still retained possession of my hearing, my sense of smell, and, to a certain extent, of my wits.’

‘I should have thought,’ I said discreetly, ‘that Tory Lodge was more in the middle of his country.’

‘Undoubtedly,’ replied Flurry's grandmother; ‘but it is not in the middle of my straw, my meal, my buttermilk, my firewood, and anything else of mine that can be pilfered for the uses of a kennel!’  She concluded with a chuckle that might have been uttered by a scald-crow.” -Excerpt from "The Finger of Mrs. Knox"

Foxhunting Life is pleased to bring you downloads of short stories by some of our favorite sporting authors. These works are in the public domain and may be downloaded by you, enjoyed, copied, and shared as you see fit.

Flying Change

flying changeFlying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing by Patrick Smithwick, Chesapeake Book Company, 2012, 360 pages, $30.00If you can avoid disabling injury, horseback riding is a sport that many enjoy for a lifetime. All of us have heard anecdotal tales of people who ride—and even foxhunt—up into their seventies and eighties.

With Baby Boomers aging, those stories will become more prevalent, although many of us may be opting for the dressage arena instead of the hunt meet...or the race track.

Author Patrick Smithwick decided to meet growing older head on. He challenged himself at age forty-six to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup, a four-mile timber race over twenty-two solidly built fences that are not for the faint of heart. It is the world’s stiffest timber race.