Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Squire Osbaldeston: A Sporting Prodigy

squire osbaldeston.Sir Frances Holyoake Goodricke.1830.John FERNELEYSquire Osbaldeston, MFH (foreground) on Ashton, with Sir Frances Holyoake-Goodricke on Crossbow, 1830, hunting the Pytchley in Melton Mobray, Leicestershire, England. Oil painting  by John Ferneley

London-born in 1786, George Osbaldeston was a natural athlete. He rowed for various schools that he attended, including Eton and Oxford, neither of which he matriculated. He assiduously avoided academic work, but set high standards for rowdy behavior and was expelled from most of these fine institutions.

He was an outstanding cricketeer, bowling and batting as an amateur in numerous important matches. In 1818, however, he was barred for life from membership in a club as the result of an intemperate outburst, effectively finishing his career in important cricket matches.

A Thanksgiving Day Hunt with the Brandywine

stuart roseStuart Rose: foxhunter, race rider, publisher, author

This tale of a Thanksgiving hunt in Pennsylvania around the middle of the twentieth century is from Stuart Rose’s excellent book, There’s a Fox in the Spinney: Memories of Fox-hunting, Racing and Publishing (Doubleday, 1967).

Rose’s father intended to send his son to Harvard, but upon completing secondary school the young man joined the U.S. Calvary instead, by lying about his age. He wanted to ride horses.

Harry Worcester Smith...the Great Hound Match of 1905...a Discovery?

bailys picPhotograph discovered by Baily's in a biscuit tin, dated 1905 on the back, and appearing American.

The historic and well-documented Great Hound Match of 1905 was a face-off between A. Henry Higginson’s Middlesex Hunt (MA) with its English Foxhounds and Harry Worcester Smith of the Grafton Hunt (MA) and his American foxhounds. The Match was held in the then hunting country of the Piedmont Fox Hounds (VA), with each pack alternating hunting days.

Despite the substantial coverage by the press and public interest in the Match at the time―and ever since―something has been missing.

A. Henry Higginson: A Master of the Old School

Tally Ruxton and Henry Higginson Joint MFHs Cattistock 1936 002Cattistock (UK) Joint-Masters in 1936: (l-r) Tally Ruxton and A. Henry Higginson

A family ignores the instructions of the Master and huntsman as he draws for a fox. Nieces of the family continue to forge ahead, despite the huntsman’s requests that they stop when he stops. The wife fails to get out of the huntsman’s way as he tries to get to hounds, so he barrels on through and knocks her off her pony. The wife and her niece continue to hunt kickers with red ribbons in the tails that have already injured field members and their horses.

The Master and huntsman, in this case, is A. Henry Higginson, an internationally-known American Master, huntsman, and breeder of English foxhounds. In 1930, he was engaged by the Cattistock Hunt Committee (UK) to serve as Master and huntsman in their hunting country in England. His breeding and training program have improved the pack and the sport, and his contributions are recognized and appreciated.

The family, in this case, is John Budden and his wife, Diana. The Buddens are landowners in the Cattistick hunting country. They maintain important coverts on their land and keep them safe for foxes by barring gunners. To make matters more difficult, Budden is a close personal friend of Higginson’s English Joint-Master, Tally Ruxton. Both Budden and Ruxton were military officers in The Great War.

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