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

In the Path of a Wildfire

red rock fire.joy smithThe wildfire tops the final ridge before descending into the valley toward the Red Rock Hounds kennels, stables, and homes, from where this photo was shot. / Joy Smith photo

“A huge scare. That’s for sure,” said Angela Murray, MFH and huntsman, Red Rock Hounds (NV).

After many hot and blistering weeks the sagebrush had turned to dry tinder for miles around, just waiting for a spark. On August 2, 2020 the wait was over. A car blew a tire on the north-south freeway 395 about ten miles west of the ranch that is home to the Red Rock Hounds. The spinning rim of the wheel hit the pavement and sparks flew. The sagebrush caught fire, spread, and with windy conditions for encouragement headed east from the freeway and over the first mountain range.

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Gone Away With Casanova Hunt

casanova tlj.sunrise smallHuntsman Tommy Lee Jones and the foxhounds of the Casanova Hunt, now disbanded. /  Richard Clay Photography

For the Casanova Hunt (VA), established in 1909 during the waning days of Theodore Roosevelt’s term as president, June 30, 2020 marks the end of the era. It’s a real heartbreaker. And a personal one.

It was an easy hack from the kennels at Weston to the Boarding House covert, so named half a century ago by Capt. Ian Benson, MFH and huntsman, because that covert harbored everything. It was often a quick cast and hounds were away.

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Hunt Mergers Bring Stability, Benefits

rosetree bm staff and houndsSean Cully, MFH and huntsman (center), with hounds of the Rose Tree-Blue Mountain Hunt (PA). To the left is Brady Cully, whipper-in; to the right is Dr. Edward Franco, Joint-MFH and whipper-in.

When hunts merge, the resulting whole can often become greater than the sum of its parts. Take the case of a once-small hunt in Pennsylvania—the Blue Mountain Hunt. It was established by Sean Cully, MFH, in 1999 as a farmer’s foot pack. It became a mounted pack in 2009, was Registered with the MFHA in 2011, and became a Recognized pack in 2014.

Through unanticipated but judicious mergers, Cully’s little foot pack has stabilized a historic foxhunting country in Pennsylvania, rejuvenated the oldest subscription pack of foxhounds in the United States, and become a national influence and model for the sport.

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County Limerick at Knockainey

power.limerick1Traditionally-bred English foxhounds of the Co Limerick with huntsman Fergus Stokes (right) and whipper-in David Beecher (left) /  Catherine Power photo

George Blenerhaasset of Ridelstown is credited with being the first Limerick Master around 1800. In about 1830 Mr. Croker of Ballinagarde took on the pack with Geo Fosbury which went on to become the County Limerick Foxhounds.

Hounds have been kennelled in Clonshire, the hunt property in Adare, since 1930. The village is now one of Ireland’s leading equestrian centres. Former County Limerick Masters familiar to many in the U.S. are the recently mourned American Master Al Schreck of the Los Altos Hounds (CA) and Master and huntsman Hugh Robards who hunted the Co. Limerick for twenty-seven seasons before coming to North America.

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