Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Fox Hounds

The Griffon Vendeen: Another Basset Altogether

James Scharnberg master with his Skycastle Griffon Vendeen French Bassets in Chester County PAJames Scharnberg, Master and huntsman of the Skycastle French Hounds (PA), walks out his Griffon Vendeen bassets. / Noel Mullins photo

The day following the 112th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, which I traveled from my native Ireland to witness, I accompanied advertising executive/sportsman Eli Silberman to visit the Skycastle French Hounds—a pack of Griffon Vendeen Bassets—at their kennels on White Acres Farm in Downingown, Pennsylvania.

Cornwall Woodman Is Grand Champion at Canadian Hound Show

canadian2012.woodmanCanadian Hound Show Grand Champion Cornwall Woodman 2010  /  Paul Wilson photoCornwall Woodman 2010 (Fox River Valley Keystone 2005 ex Mooreland Wedlock 2008) was judged Grand Champion at the Canadian Hound Show held this year at the kennels of the Hamilton Hunt (ON) on June 9, 2012.

Woodman is a Crossbred dog hound entered by Tony Leahy, MFH and huntsman of the Cornwall Hounds and the Fox River Valley Hunt, both in Illinois. Woodman was entered into the MFHA registry as a Cornwall hound, but the Cornwall and Fox River Valley packs are basically one in the same. Woodman is primarily the result of Fox River Valley breeding, but the tail female line—one of Leahy’s best—took a short detour through the Mooreland and the Whiskey Road kennels!

North Country Luna Is Grand Champion at New England

new englad.2012Grand Champion North Country Luna and (l-r) Jim Faber, judge; North Country huntsman Sandy Studer; Kendall Woodward; Owen Hughes, MFH, Norfolk Hunt; Vernon Studer, MFH, North Country Hounds  /  Sue Greenall photo

A Crossbred bitch rolled down to Massachusetts from the hills of Vermont and snatched the Grand Championship trophy from its habitual resting place at the venerable Myopia Hunt kennels. North Country Luna 2008 was judged Grand Champion of the New England Hound Show, hosted this year at the Berlin, Massachusetts home of Virginia Zukatynski, MFH, Old North Bridge Hounds on June 10, 2012.

Irish National Hound Show

irish natl blazersGalway Blazers shown by (l-r) whipper-in Jason O'Donnell and huntsman Tom Dempsey  /  Noel Mullins photos

The magnificent grounds of the Cosby Estate in Stradbally, County Laois again hosted the annual Irish National Hound Show. Three rings featured foxhounds, harriers and beagles.

Hound shows are important events to meet and catch up on hunting in different parts of the country. For masters and hunt staff it is an opportunity to see what packs have on show, and maybe to pick out a suitable stallion hound for future breeding plans. However, at hound shows, hounds can be judged only on conformation and movement. Only in the hunting field can the other essential qualities for any working hound be assessed, like stamina, scenting ability, fox sense, and drive, as hounds are only as fast or as steady as their noses.