Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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

A Foxhunt to Remember at Genesee Valley

Genesee Valley Hunt fox hunting meet at The HomesteadThe Genesee Valley foxhounds meet on Opening Day of the formal season at The Homestead, home of W. Austin Wadsworth, MFH. Marion Thorne, MFH and huntsman (center) stands with hounds. / Barbara Smith photo

Genesee Valley, a stop along the MFHA's Hark Forward Friendship Tour, was awesome! Six foxes put to ground in three-and-a-half hours! Epp Wilson, MFH, Belle Meade Hunt (GA), called it the best red fox hunt he had ever experienced.

Epp is Chairman of the Hark Forward Foxhound Performance Trials this season and is leading the tour across the North American foxhunting countries. Friendship Meets along the way have been scheduled. Join Epp and his fellow travelers for one or more (or any) of the exciting trials and/or hunt meets.

The Genesee Vally Hunt is renowned as one of the premier foxhunting clubs in North America. We were privileged to join Marion Thorne, MFH and huntsman, for their exciting Opening Day Meet on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Marion’s pack more than lived up to its reputation!

In the Huntsman's Pocket at Golden's Bridge

fox hunting at goldens bridge with codie and houndsHuntsman Codie Hayes and hounds in the Golden's Bridge country. / Barbara Smith photo

After two brutally hot days of foxhound performance trials at Millbrook, the weather finally broke. The next stop on our Hark Forward Friendship Tour was a day’s foxhunting with the Golden’s Bridge Hounds (NY), about twenty miles southeast of Millbrook as the crow flies. Thankfully, the temperature had dropped by fifteen degrees. Hounds met at 7:30 am, scenting had definitely improved, and so had the game activity.

Trying something new, I took my digital recorder to record the important snippets of the action and my impressions of the day. This is the same recorder we use to score the hounds in the hound trials. Since it’s hard to remember everything that happens during a foxhunt, I wanted to make the all the action and impressions of the day come alive. Here goes:

Eglington and Caledon: First Stop on the Friendship Tour

ec.strachan wilson.bardAlastair Strachan, MFH, hunting hounds this day, invites Epp Wilson to accompany him.  /  Barbara Smith photo

Who do you call twelve hours in advance for overnight accommodations for ten horses and five people when original plans fall through? In this case we were blessed to land on the doorstep of Christine Gracey, MFH of the Eglinton and Caledon Hounds (ON). Completely nonplused at the last-minute plans, Christy and Master Alastair Strachan made arrangements for our caravan of horses and people. We pulled into Sleepy Fox Farm, the lovely hunter barn of Al Borrett and daughter Jennifer at midnight, after a fifteen-hour drive from Illinois.

Wentworth Hunt Enjoys Good Hunting on Opening Day

wentworth.stacy howe.james mertzStacy Howe provides bagpipe music during Wentworth Hunt's Opening Meet ceremonies. / James Mertz, Suddenly Still Photography

The Wentworth Hunt opened its formal foxhunting season on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Yorkfield Farm in Kensington, New Hampshire. The Blessing of the Hounds was led by Wentworth Hunt member and Pastor David Maguire. Bagpipe music was provided by Stacy Howe. The light drizzle and forty-seven degree temperatures deterred neither the twenty-six riders, horses, hounds, spectators, and supporters nor our “fox,” Michelle Myrdek, who laid the drag.

Huntsman Rachel Duffy hacked down and across the road and sent hounds into a fully mature cornfield, while the field skirted northeast around the perimeter. Our strike hound, De La Brooke Vernon ’13, found early then lost. Hounds worked quickly through the tall, wet corn, and we soon heard Vernon open again, honored by Moore County Zombie ’13 and soon others. Hounds burst out of the corn, hunted through a thin covert, and into a large hayfield where the field was treated to a spectacular view of the pack working in the tall grass. The hounds soon accounted for their “fox” near an old cemetery and were praised.