Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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

Who Are those Red Ring-Necks?

melvin-poeAnytime I see Melvin Poe, I always make a point to speak to him and show him his Florida strain of the Orange County red ring-neck foxhounds. He’s always so approachable and friendly and, of course, always interested in the red rings. In fact, last year at the Virginia Foxhound Show, I nearly missed one of our classes because I was talking to him just outside the ring. Luckily, Mac came running over and told me to get in there!

Our association with Orange County began in 1996, during our first season, when Kerry Glass, former Master and huntsman of the Norfolk Hunt (MA), contacted Melvin and arranged for us the draft of Orange County Boots, Bundles, and Britches. After our very first breeding to Boots, we instantly shifted our previously tri-color pack to red. Whenever we come to Virginia, we visit the Orange County kennels. It’s a ritual.

Staghunting Banned in Ireland

Wednesday, June 28, 2010 marked a sad day for hunting in Ireland when a coalition government lead by the majority Ward_Stag.smallparty Fianna Fail, the minority Green Party, and some Independent members of Parliament voted to end a 180-year-old tradition by banning the only pack of staghounds on the island, the Ward Union Staghounds. It is all the more remarkable, considering the extremely serious economic problems that Ireland has at the moment, that the Green Party chose to make staghunting a central issue in their renegotiated program for government.

Hunting with my Father

September 15, 1939
For my seventh birthday, I was led by my father—Alexander Mackay-Smith—to a next-door meet, at dawn, at Guilford. My attention was everywhere, not focused. The science, art, customs, and language of foxhunting were not known to me. Dogs started barking (hounds opened) in the woods (covert), and swung right-handed. Everyone’s eyes and ears except mine were on the sounds in front of us. What to my wandering eyes should appear but a fox off to the right, headed north along the fence row.

New Zealand Huntsman Is Worthy Successor to David Wendler at West Hills

Scott-Neill-Pic
Huntsman Scott Neill

California’s West Hills foxhounds—organized sixty-three years ago by song-and-dance man Dan Dailey and boasting the late President Ronald Reagan as a founding member—were compelled to learn a new vocabulary disguised in a down under accent last season.

For the prior fifty-five years David Wendler, one of the most experienced huntsman ever to carry the horn, had led the West Hills Hounds over difficult and dry terrain, hunting a pack of independent-minded American hounds primarily of the July strain (with some Orange County red ring neck blood). When it came time for Wendler to retire, West Hills was in a quandary. How to keep up the high level of sport in what some believe to be the most demanding hunt country in North America?