Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Elliott Roosevelt, MFH

elliott rooseveltThis portrait of Elliott Roosevelt, MFH of the Meadow Brook Hunt, Long Island, NY, was painted in watercolor by Max Klepper in 1915. Roosevelt was the father of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. (Yes, that was her maiden name as well.)

The Master led his field over thick and unyielding post-and-rail fences that started at four feet and went up from there. The poem at the bottom of the painting reads as follows:

With the Meadow Brook Hunt they were always in front,
And fearless of all disaster.
Over bar and gate, they would lead us straight,
Old Mohawk — and his Master.

Posted March 5, 2014

British-Inspired Rabbit Hunt Took an Odd Turn

california hare.audubonCalifornia hare by John J. Audubon

The early part of the last century saw the people of Riverside, California looking towards Great Britain for inspiration for their leisure activities.

This was chiefly because of the many British immigrants who had begun arriving here about 1889, primarily to invest in, among other things, the fast-growing orange industry. English customs were held in the highest esteem, especially among socially ambitious Americans, Tom Patterson wrote in his book, A Colony for California.

Riversiders engaged in such British activities as polo, high tea, and foxhunting. The latter did not usually include a fox, because foxes were not common in the area. Instead they substituted a more common animal, the jackrabbit. These hunts were conducted wherever a large area of open land could accommodate horses, hunters, hounds, and the prey.

The Harvard Yard Run

saltonstall family.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 ancient 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.

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.