Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

Subscribe RISK FREE for complete access to website PLUS
twice-monthly e-magazine.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Potomac Hunt Helps Chevy Chase Club Celebrate 125th Anniversary

An historical thread runs back in time from the Potomac Hunt (MD) to the Washington Riding and Hunt Club (est. 1913) to the Chevy Chase Club (est. 1892) to the Dumblane Club (est. 1885) to the Washington Hunt (est. 1828). Only the Potomac Hunt and the Chevy Chase Club survive. The latter is celebrating its 125th Anniversary, and the Potomac Hunt was there with horses and hounds on October 1, 2017 to mark the occasion. What follows is taken from the remarks of Knight Kiplinger, who explained the club’s foxhunting roots to its current members.

clarence moore.ccc.sizedClarence Moore was MFH of the Chevy Chase Club from 1899 to his death in the waters of the Atlantic in 1912. "A man of staggerying wealth," Moore was bringing foxhounds back from England when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk. He perished after remaining aboard to help women and children into lifeboats. / Image courtesy of the Chevy Chase ClubGood morning. I’m Knight Kiplinger, and it is my privilege to be a member of both the Chevy Chase Club and the Potomac Hunt, which are collaborating today in presenting this exhibition of foxhunting here on our Club grounds. The reason that our celebration with horses and hounds is so appropriate is because the Chevy Chase Club was first founded as a foxhunting club.

Not as a golf club, like Washington Golf in Arlington, which is two years younger than we are but was founded for golf. Not as a tennis club, although tennis came to Chevy Chase in 1895, just three years after our founding. Our club was founded by gentlemen members of the Metropolitan Club downtown, who rode horses for pleasure and for sport. For the first three or four years after the Club’s founding in 1892, its sole activity was riding to hounds across the vast expanses of rural northwest D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland.

A Foxhunter Turns 100!

On the happy occasion of Mr. I. Tucker Burr, III’s one hundredth birthday on Thursday, July 27, 2017, we republish the story of his raucous escapade in 1936 when he and a schoolmate ran his mother’s Norfolk Hunt foxhounds on a drag hunt through Harvard Yard.
Mr. Burr, you and your friend Leverett Saltonstall, Jr. were a proper pair of rascals, and we all wish we could have been there for the fun. Happy birthday, sir.
saltonstall family fox hunting.1930.norfolkThe Leverett Saltonstall Family in the Norfolk Hunt field, 1930. Leverett (top hat) was governor of Massachusetts and U.S. Senator, three terms each. Leverett, Jr is just left of his father.

In the dark of night on April 16, 1936, the atmosphere of refinement within the hallowed walls of Harvard Yard was suddenly shattered by foxhounds in full cry. A candid confession to the affair is buried in the pages of The Norfolk Hunt: One Hundred Years of Sport, published in 1995 to commemorate Norfolk’s centennial. The statute of limitations having long expired, we can confidentially out the two students who organized and carried out the caper: Leverett Saltonstall, Jr. and I. Tucker Burr, III.

Tuck’s mother, Mrs. I. Tucker (Evelyn Thayer) Burr, Jr. was MFH and huntsman of the Norfolk Hunt at the time of the incident. Whether she was a willing accessory we’ll leave to the reader to decide. Young Leverett whipped-in to her from time to time. Leverett’s father, who traced his roots directly to the Mayflower, was Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, soon to be governor for three terms, and finally U.S. Senator for three elected terms.

Purrfec' Granary: Part 2

Back in the 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use for food, petrol, and clothing. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part II of their adventures with Perfec’ Granary. Click for Part I, or type the author’s name in the Search box for more of her stories.

granary.coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Because I loved Granary, Sarah let me exercise her daily. At this time we were experiencing some freezing autumn days, so just going out at all required a gritty determination. One thing with Granary—she had the ability to actually run away whilst merely walking along the road. She would walk faster and faster and a tug on the reins would only slow things momentarily. To make matters worse, her 'walk-ability’ made it difficult to go out exercising with another horse, the sheer pace of keeping up with her exhausting the others. This 'power-walking' classed her as 'unstoppable' a lot of the time.

A Christmas Day Hunt on Old Cape Cod

Born in Shanghai, China in 1870, the author of this story crossed the Pacific Ocean with his sea-going father three times by the age of four. A goat was carried aboard ship to provide him with milk. Nason Hamlin was the first recording secretary of the Norfolk Hunt and a member of the field on Norfolk’s first day with hounds in 1896. He took to hunting and polo with exuberance, but his hand-written records are more often expressed in seaman’s jargon than in the language of foxhunting. Here’s Hamlin’s record (abridged) of a Christmas Day live hunt on Cape Cod (pp 27–29, "The Norfolk Hunt: One Hundred Years of Sport" by Norman Fine).

nason hamlin

Soapy Sponge, my new dappled-gray runaway, was yet to demonstrate his worth. On Christmas morn, 1899, just as the sun was peeping over the hill, Captain Samuel D. Parker, MFH was hunting the hounds at Eastham, away down on Cape Cod. It was a frosty, sharp morn and hounds were thrown in at the swamp lands fringing the ponds on the bay-side somewhere opposite Billingsgate Island. Shortly we heard a whimper from one hound, and almost immediately the pack took up the find and crashed away in the direction of the shore.

There were some skeptical suggestions that dead fish were the lure, but dead fish by themselves don’t travel, and when the entire pack kept running along the water’s edge in full cry in a northeast point, we all were convinced it was the real thing after all.