Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Hunt Attire: No Single Truth

norm.kleckThe author in informal cubhunting attire / Nancy Kleck photoTraditional foxhunting attire is important to me, but I’m not a fanatic.

Why is it important? Respect...for three hundred years of sport, art, literature, and the men and women who had the passion, energy, and intellect to formulate and leave us one of the most exhilarating activities known to man. For these reasons it pains me to see the concepts of appropriate attire ignored in many hunting fields today.

There is good reason to dress modestly and uniformly. Foxhunting is about the hounds and the quarry; it’s not a stage for man or horse. Its dress code can be described as stratified uniformity—stratified between staff, Master, and field so we can quickly identify who’s who in the heat of battle, and uniformity so that we all maintain our modest place in the overall scheme of the sport.

Why, on the other hand, am I not fanatical about correct hunting attire? Because there is no single truth.

A Message to Subscribers & Friends

The publication of Foxhunting Life’s e-magazine FHL WEEKboth electronic and PDF versions―will be paused for this month of August while operations are transferred from Publishe/Editor Norm Fine to Gretchen Pelham, who will take over and carry on!

Norm Fine & MaraDouglas Lees photo

Gretchen Pelham

 

Gretchen is a foxhunter, former MFH, columnist, and photographer  already known to many of you around the country. Norm reached retirement age decades ago with nary a murmur from him in recognotion of that obvious fact. The time has come to pass the baton.

During this August changeover period, our website will remain open. All content will still be available to subscribers, including all previously-published articles (well over 1,000). These are found, as always, on the Home Page, listed by category, and accessed via the drop-down menu running across the Home Page under the slide show banner. Log in and point your cursor to the “Horse and Hound” menu tab. Click Full Article List or browse by category! There is also a search function that may be useful for you!

Other subscriber benefits are available via the drop-down menus as well.

From Norm:

“Thanks for riding along with me all these years. And I might even have something left to say to you every so often, if Gretchen will let me.”

From Gretchen:

“I am honored to continue the Foxhunting Life magazine that Norman Fine created. I will do my best to continue the high standard of excellence that Norm has set.  I'm excited to get started!”

 

A Storybook Pack

Each hound in this pack is a top-ten qualifier from one of nine qualifying foxhound performance trials held across North America this season.

houndtrial21.winning hounds.maisanoTrial Huntsman Epp Wilson and his guide, huntsman Graham Buston, in the Blue Ridge country  /  Joanne Maisano photo

This Blog is to celebrate an exclusive pack of foxhounds that will hunt the fox at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds in Hoffman, North Carolina, from March 25−27, 2022. The hound that earns the top score in this trial will be named the 2022 National Champion Performance Trial Foxhound.

Each hound in this unique pack earned its place by qualifying in one or more two-day performance trials held over this season from coast to coast. To qualify for this, the National Championship Performance Trial, each hound here compiled a score during its qualifying trial that placed it among the top-ten scoring hounds in that trial.

Why should that matter to hunt officers, Masters, huntsmen, hound breeders, and field members?

Set the Hook: Nurture New Field Members

This blog is a companion piece to Epp Wilson’s article, Our Hounds Were on Fire.” Masters and huntsmen should educate their field members. Epp communicates to his members via periodic email blasts.

 wheeler.deep runOil painting, "Catch," by Larry Wheeler was inspired by a scene at the Deep Run Hunt (VA) with huntsman John Harrison and hounds.

There's a whole new generation of enthusiastic foxhunters in hunting fields across North America today. And I’m betting that most of them are in the hunt-to-ride category. At least at first. I know I was.

If they are inquisitive, however, they will soon discover there is even more to this sport than the excitement of riding a horse, keeping with hounds, jumping obstacles, and arriving at the finish with their equine partner safe and breathless. Not that that, in itself, isn’t enough! But really, the more they learn along the way, the better it gets.

Drag Hunting Banned on Welsh Natural Resources Land

Welsh National Resource LandOgof Ffynnon Ddu National Nature Reserve, a huge expanse of moorland in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

According to the BBC, Natural Resources Wales has decided not to renew its agreement with the British MFHA which had previously allowed drag hunting on its lands. The decision is said to be strongly influenced by the recent conviction of an influential foxhunter in England who instructed hunts how to use the appearance of draghunting as a cover for contravening the Hunting Act of 2004.

UK Foxhunter Convicted; National Trust Members Vote “No” to Trail Hunting

nmf.crop.kleckNancy Kleck photo

A total of 76,816 votes were cast by members of Britain’s National Trust in a referendum on whether or not to ban trail hunting (also known as drag or scent hunting) on National Trust lands. The vote was 38,184 to ban and 18,047 to allow, a bitter defeat for British foxhunters.

Although the vote is non-binding, the board of trustees is expected to consider the outcome after their imminent annual meeting. The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) had been actively driving the vote to ban with demonstrations against trail hunting. LACS is obviously pleased with the outcome.

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