Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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On Opening (and Keeping) Foxhunting Country

cheshire foxhounds 21Hunting country is a hunt's most precious asset. The late Mrs. Nancy Hannum, MFH, Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds, set the bar for how to protect hunting country, hers just thirty miles from Philadelphia.

The season has started and so far so good. Young hounds are entering well and have been given the space and time to work things out. But every season brings headaches the Masters can well do without.

Most field members are blissfully unaware of the amount of year-round planning that goes into every day’s hunting. During the spring and summer Masters need to go and visit their landowners and make sure they are welcome for the following season. Secondly, they need to look further afield to increase their hunting country. Why? Because there are too many ways good country can be lost. Here’s one that I experienced.

On Not Letting Standards Slide

Ronnie Wallace.Eaton College BeaglesRonnie Wallace with the Eton College Beagles, where he set records as yet to be equalled.When we were beaglers with school or college packs we tried to be as professional as possible. At the Eaton Beagles we had a splendid fellow, Bill Perkins. He had been second whipper-in to a number of high class establishments, and as he told us all, he’d only come to the Eton Beagles in 1926 because he’d disagreed with Arthur French Blake over half a crown. He drummed into us the parade ground stuff, the handling of hounds from home, rigorous exercise, and obtaining hounds’ confidence.

He made us able to take hounds under strict control through the by-streets of Slough without a whipper-in. Later George Knight, Percy Durno, Bill Lander, Tony Collins, and now, Anthony Adams and Tony Wright were all trained to know there is a correct way of doing everything.

This Is Hunting UK: A Pro-Active Voice

james barclayJames Barclay, while Master of the Fitzwilliam Foxhounds (UK) from 1987 to 1999.Where now? This is undoubtedly one of the most frequently asked questions that we huntsmen have to consider during a hunting day. Where had our quarry gone, where to draw next, etc, etc? In this piece, however, I am going to use it in a different context, perhaps the most important one of all, and that is, Where is hunting going now?

Despite our opponents’ belief that they had won the most tremendous victory over us nearly eleven years ago, hunting is still here, and in whatever form it takes, it's popularity has never waned. What a pleasure it is to see people from every angle of society still coming together at a meeting of their local pack of hounds. And why shouldn't they?

We occasionally hear the comments, "It's not like it used to be,” or, “ Look at that lot, they haven't a clue what they are doing!" However, our record says more than that, and there is much to be proud of; but there is one thing for certain and that is we cannot afford to relax for one moment. Pushing our activities under the carpet is not going to help us in the long term. Let us go out and stand up for our beliefs, be keen to share them with those who are interested enough to listen. And there are plenty out there—if we play it correctly—who want to do exactly that.