Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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FHL wants your hunt reports! Stories and photos. Submit yours here.

Old North Bridge Hounds in the Footprints of History II

onbh.old manse.liz goldsmith.cropThe Old North Bridge Hounds meet at The Old Manse, home of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his forebears, adjacent to the North Bridge, their namesake. / Elizabeth Goldsmith photo

In an earlier story, we read of the Old North Bridge Hounds (MA) meeting at historic Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in nearby Sudbury. This drag pack, established in 1969 and recognized by the MFHA in 1973, boasts connections back to Colonial days, and hounds hunt routinely across some of our nation’s most hallowed ground.

The hunt was organized in Concord, Massachusetts, the town that inhospitably hosted several companies of British regulars on the 19th of April, 1775. On that fateful day, the first British casualties of the War of Independence were shot and killed at the Old North Bridge spanning the Concord River. The redcoats were driven back to Cambridge by scores of Minute Men from surrounding towns who had assembled there, having been rousted by Paul Revere the night before.

Foxhunting in the “Garden of Ireland”

west wicklow.mcCauley.mullins.cropWest Wicklow Senior Master and huntsman Rupert Macauley takes hounds to covert.  /   Noel Mullins photo

Well-known hunting author Willie Poole once said, “There is no landscape in the world that can’t be enhanced by a pack of hounds.” County Wicklow, known colloquially as the Garden of Ireland, has a reputation for beauty quite on its own. Add the foxhounds to a landscape of blue skies, sheep grazing in green fields, extensive plantations, and snow-capped hills, and the image describes perfectly my day with hounds from Pat Kavanagh’s Hampton Lodge Equestrian Centre at Brittas.

Grosvenor’s Hill

epp and gro allison howellEpp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade Hunt and Grosvenor Merle-Smith, MFH, Tennessee Valley Hunt are two men who create sport wherever they go. / Allison Howell photo

In January of 2010, Tennessee Valley Hunt had a three-day joint meet with the Belle Meade Hunt down in Georgia. Belle Meade’s MFH and Huntsman, Epp Wilson, had last hunted with TVH’s MFH Grosvenor Merle-Smith when Gro was huntsman for the Bull Run Hunt in Virginia several years earlier. They had what Epp described as an “epic” hunt chasing fox. The two huntsmen had finally organized a recap of that memorable hunt, and the expectations of both men were very high for the weekend.  

Twelve of us Tennesseans trekked south to Georgia just west of Augusta. Included were Grosvenor, his wife Rosie Merle-Smith, MFH, and our TVH huntsman Beth Blackwell who brought about eleven couple of Penn-Marydels.

Toronto and North York Hunt: From Fort York to Creemore

fort yorkFort York on Toronto Harbor, early nineteenth century

The Toronto and North York Hunt is proud of the long history of its pack of English foxhounds. Early in the nineteenth century, British military men, fond of sport, shipped hounds across the Atlantic to Fort York, which guarded Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario. Not long after the City of Toronto was incorporated in 1834, we find mention of the Toronto Hunt. Between 1843 and 1869, eight of the hunt's nine Masters were army officers.