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!

The Masters Ball

masters ballThe Masters Ball by Anne-Marie Lacy, 2012, Indigo-Inc Publishing, 206 pages, $25.00From the elegance of the annual fete in New York to a hair-raising ride at closing meet, author Anne-Marie Lacy takes the reader on mad gallop in The Masters Ball, a light-hearted murder mystery with a charming ghost.

The author, who has hunted for seventeen years, drew upon her experiences in the field with the Mooreland Hunt (AL), the Hillsboro Hounds (TN), and the characters she met along the way for her first book. The astute reader will recognize a few larger-than-life, real-life Masters who were Lacy’s inspiration for her characters.

Letters to a Young Huntsman

andrewbarclayLetters to a Young Huntsman, Andrew Barclay, Outskirts Press, Inc., Denver, 2012, 116 pages, $27.95I have long admired Andrew Barclay’s writing. As for his expertise, that was proven long ago in the hunting field.

Andrew got a good start to his career by whipping-in to legendary huntsman Les Grimes for seven years at the Green Spring Valley Hounds in Maryland. Upon Grimes’s retirement, the horn was passed to Andrew, and he carried it with distinction there for the next twenty years.

Around the time that Andrew was getting ready to retire as huntsman, MFHA Director Tony Leahy was formulating what is now known as the MFHA’s Professional Development Program—a structured training program for young aspiring huntsmen. One aspect of the program required that a knowledgeable mentor be available to work with each individual admitted into the program.

Dylan Thomas's Paean to Summer

dylan thomasDylan Thomas (1914 -- 1953)“Fern Hill” is one of Dylan Thomas’s most highly regarded poems. The poem is a paean to a green, lush summer and will resonate with anyone who can recall the summers of their youth: the smell of sweet mown hay, the whir of busy insects, the languor of long, sunny days. I’ve reproduced just the second stanza here, because it fits Foxhunting Life’s profile!

 

Hush Money

hush moneyHush Money by Chuck Greaves, Minotaur Books, New York, hard cover, 304 pages, $24.99If you’re going on vacation in August, be sure and take Hush Money with you. I mean the book. It’s a first novel by Los Angeles trial lawyer Chuck Greaves that’s polished and fast-paced with crackling dialog, the latter often the death knell for many first-timers.

Jack MacTaggart, the story’s protagonist, is a non-horsey lawyer representing an insurance company investigating a claim on a recently deceased show jumper. Our lawyer gets educated about horses and the high stakes world of professional show jumping by Tara Flynn, a gorgeous young rider who despises the dead horse’s bereaved owner, socialite Sydney Everett.