Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Fuss, Fuss

norman.karen.farnleyI’ve been grousing about four long rows of round hay bales left in my field. The guys that make the hay usually take the bales right off. But it’s been two weeks, and they’re still sitting there. Now, I’m going to have four long stretches of dead grass. Fuss, fuss.

This morning I took my dog Mara out for a walk as usual, and, glancing over to where the round bales were still sitting, it seemed there was something lying on top of one. Too big for one of the cats and not the right color. I recalled that foxes love to perch on top of round bales. Every warrior seeks the high ground. I stopped, hoping it was what I thought, and sure enough an alert head and two enormous ears fixed me in their sights.

Traditional Foxhunting Attire: Is It Relevant?

ngraces.lowresIs the wearing of traditional and proper hunting attire an outdated, outmoded, and irrelevant concept today? If sadly that appears sometimes to be the case, consider this.

Just about every major article of apparel worn by men today throughout the entire western world traces its origin back to the hunting fields of England.

Jake Chalfin Wants Your Vote

chalfinjakeJake ChalfinYour vote in the HRTV Film Festival at Santa Anita could steer “some serious prize money” to the Jake Chalfin Beneficiary Trust. Jake is a brave young man with a healthy attitude, and I hope you’ll watch his film and vote.

Foxhunting Life first reported on Jake in Norm Fine’s Blog of September 18, 2010 and in a follow-up article a year later. What follows is Jake’s latest adventure, in his own words:

I recently met a wonderful woman, Kristy Cecil, who was in from California visiting her folks who are my neighbors. This chance meeting opened a new chapter in my life. Kristy and I instantly found a connection and the next thing I knew we were making a film.

The Foxhound: A Pearl of Considerable Price

Norm Fine's Blog

norman.karen.farnleyKaren L. Myers photoThe State of Kentucky values the foxhound exceedingly. Indeed, this high regard was emphatically established in 1948 case law by the old Kentucky Court of Appeals which, at the time, was the highest court in the state.

Foxhounds were hunting across Tennessee Valley Authority property one day in 1946 when, during a chase, one hound fell into an open well and drowned. An individual named Stratton, presumably the owner of the hound, sued the TVA for damages (Tennessee Valley Authority v. Stratton, 306 Ky. 753, 209 S.W.2d 318 (1948)).

In recognizing that Stratton suffered damages, the court said most poetically, “In the great fraternity of fox hunters, a man’s hound is a pearl of considerable price.”

The court went on to write an effusive tribute to the joys of foxhunting.

Gutenburg, the Foxhunter's Freund

NormanWith this final installment of The Mardale Hunt, we bring Ron Black’s touching vignettes of the Mardale Hunt to a close. In the course of offering these downloads, a new idea presented itself. But before we get to that, let’s have a final look at Mardale.

The Mardale Hunt

Every hunting culture is unique to its time and place. I was won over by the people of Mardale—hard-working sheep farmers—who lived in a picturesque valley and hunted the fox in the purest way.

Horse Slaughter: A Contentious Issue

nodh.klmAs most of our readers know, horses may no longer be slaughtered in the United States because there are no longer any slaughter houses in operation here. The last horse slaughter facilities closed when, in 2005, Congress curtailed funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the inspection of horses in transit to slaughter. The lack of inspection resulted, as it was intended to do, in a defacto ban on horse slaughter.

Some applauded Congress’s action. Certainly the mainstream animal rights activists who lobbied Congress to take that action counted it as a victory. Many, many horse lovers also counted that action as a victory for the welfare of horses. And in a perfect world it well might have been so.

Some Hunters Are Getting It

nodh.klmKaren L. Myers photoIn my last blog, I expressed the wish that hunting organizations would become more visibly proactive about getting our own house in order. In our reluctance to condemn those irresponsible hunters who ignore game laws, who poach, who hunt private property without permission, and who help give all hunters a bad name, we often relinquish the high ground to the HSUS, an organization that would ban all hunting in a moment if they could.