Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhounds from Five Hunts Compete at Beautiful Millbrook

nancy stahl.kkandra.croppedNancy Stahl, MFH, and her Joint Masters Parker Gentry and Lelee Brandt welcomed visitors to the gorgeous Millbrook country and made certain everyone was happy to be there. /  Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Foxhounds from five hunts faced off for the second Performance Trial of the Hark Forward season. The trials were hosted by the Millbrook Hunt in their scenic and mountainous country in the Hudson River valley of New York State, just ten miles west of the Connecticut border, ninety miles north of New York City.

Hounds met on Monday and Tuesday, September 25 and 26, 2017 under conditions reminiscent of mid-summer rather than the early days of autumn. Temperatures rose well into the eighties on both days as riders sweltered and hounds struggled to find quarry in the usually productive coverts. Yet hounds worked as a veteran pack and displayed outstanding work during their brief moments of action.

Each competing hunt had selected the seven-and-a-half couples of hounds from their kennels to best represent them. The thirty-seven-and-a-half couples of proven hounds melded quickly into a single pack (more about that later), reflecting positively on every huntsman: Bart Poole from the Essex Fox Hounds (NJ); Marion Thorne, Genesee Valley Hunt (NY); Codie Hayes, Golden’s Bridge Hounds (NY); Don Philhower, Millbrook Hunt; and Sean Cully, Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hounds (PA).

Team Leahy Hosts Performance Trial; Kicks Off Hark Forward!

tony leahy, mfhMFHA President Tony Leahy and the Massbach Hounds kick off this season's Foxhound Performance Trial tour.MFHA President Tony Leahy and the Fox River Valley/Massbach Hounds hosted the kick-off Performance Trial on the Hark Forward Tour in their western Illinois hunting country on September 16 and 17, 2017.

By the time it was over, everyone took home a renewed appreciation for the hard work and knowhow it takes to make and maintain a good hunting pack of foxhounds. Certainly the fact that littermates brought up by different hunts and trained by different staffs, rose like cream to the top of the scoring is convincing proof that breeding matters! Next stop on the tour is Millbrook, New York.

Entering Puppies at Belle Meade

The Belle Meade Hunt Masters believe that the more field members understand what huntsman and hounds are up to, the more they will enjoy each foxhunting day. To that end, Epp Wilson sends the occasional email to the membership reviewing the day’s hound work. With virtually every foxhunt in North America entering puppies right about now, here’s a timely one for all.

epp and hounds fox hunting.gianniniEpp Wilson and hounds / Lauren Giannini photo

Those of you who came out yesterday morning know how well the hounds worked. You also know that we jumped a coyote by the Foxboro Mare Barn and ran him into a culvert on an old logging road in Wilson Woods. Not only was this good training for the puppies, it was even better than one might first think.

Earlier we had drawn mostly blank except for two incidents of puppies starting what we believe were deer lines. And we were able to get them to leave those lines by hollering at them. Why do we feel confident that they were deer lines? There were numerous clues:

Seventy-Five-Year-Old Hound Manuscript Published

in search of the kerry beagle.lynch.mullinsIn Search of the Kerry Beagle by Stanislaus Lynch with a Foreword by Chris Ryan, MFH, The Scarteen HoundsA manuscript on the Kerry Beagle that languished for nearly seventy-five years has been rescued, edited, and published twenty-seven years after the author's death by Irish author and photojournalist Noel Mullins, from whom the book may now be purchased.

In Search of the Kerry Beagle by Stanislaus Lynch attempts to trace the roots of this unique breed of Irish hound, most widely known as that bred for more than four hundred years at Scarteen in County Limerick, the Black and Tans. The ancient hound is believed to have descended from hounds that swam ashore from shipwrecked Spanish boats sunk off the southwest coast of Ireland.