Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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cowboy hunt1Kail Mantle from Montana: just like riding a bronc  /  Val Westover photo

Last year, while hunting with the Red Rock Hounds (NV), I met Renee and Kail Mantle from Big Sky Hounds in Three Forks, Montana. Kail gave us a bucking horse lesson one day before hunting. This Montana cowboy, who hunts in chaps and cowboy hat, had sat calmly to his horse bucking crazily above the sagebrush and had seriously impressed me.

When a group of these Western foxhunters invited me to accompany them to Ireland this year, I jumped at the chance. These were fun people---more than a little crazy, and I wondered if anyone had warned the Irish!

I also wondered if my companions knew what they were getting into. I had hunted the big Irish walls and hedges in 2000, and I came home with newfound respect for anyone who hunts regularly in Ireland. It is challenging country, and their version of foxhunting is an excuse to run and jump really big fences.

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+3 # Renee Daniels-Mantle 2015-04-28 09:36
What a perfect account of an epic trip. Thank you, Barbara. It is hard to imagine how so many wonderful people came together to make this such a success, but I believe it might have something to do with the luck of the Irish. Ireland really is a bastion of foxhunting and it is embedded in their culture in a way that must be experienced to understand. Start planning now, we're going back with another crazy group in Jan/Feb of 2016. The Irish have been warned. ~Renee
# Christopher Hurst 2015-08-06 20:18
My first experience with cross country courses, jumping, and the beginnings of my fox hunting passion were brought on by Mr. Oliver Walsh at Flowerhill. It was a week in Ireland that brought forward my love of horses and foxhunting. What great memories and what thanks I owe to him for letting me have a go!

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