Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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On Keeping Children in the Hunting Field

norman_on_SlimKaren Myers photoOne of my recent blogs was titled “Adopt-a-Kid.” It talked about how individual field members can help bring children to the hunting field. Elisabeth Harpham from Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds suggested through the Comments box that we check out what her hunt is doing in Unionville, Pennsylvania. We asked her to tell us, and she did. See her article following this blog.

In addition to the traditional junior activities sponsored by most hunts, the Cheshire Masters recognized that the challenge doesn’t end with simply getting children into the field. You need to offer them enough excitement and incentive to keep them there. Evidently they succeeded, because Elisabeth tells us that in the past six or eight years they have seen a huge increase in the number of children actively hunting.

Pink, Red, or Scarlet?

Martin_Scott_out_hunting_001Martin Scott, ex-MFH“Are the words scarlet and pink interchangeable?” asks Leslie Shepherd. “Is one more correct than the other? Is pink a word of the past? I always thought that scarlet referred to formal attire such as worn at a hunt ball or the Masters Ball, while pink described the color of the frock coat in the field. Could you clarify for us?”

I love this question because it endures as one of the great controversies of foxhunting’s arcane language. We asked Martin Scott, ex-MFH, Vale of the White Horse (UK), Hugh Robards, ex-MFH, Rolling Rock Hunt (PA), and C. Martin Wood, MFH, Live Oak Hounds (FL) for their opinions. All three gentlemen are not only internationally-respected practitioners of the art but students as well: Scott and Wood as master breeders and judges of foxhounds, Robards as a brilliant huntsman. All are intellectually curious and have access to extensive libraries.

Your Hunt's Page: A New Feature on FHL!

NormanI’m excited to announce a new feature on Foxhunting Life. If you go to the Horse and Hound drop-down menu (above) and click on Hunt Club Pages, you will land on a new page that lists all the North American hunts. (We plan to add English and Irish hunts as well.)

Each hunt name is a clickable link. Click on any one, and every article published on Foxhunting Life about or referring to that hunt will be retrieved in chronological order, most recent first.

Tell Me a Story: My First Foxhunt

norman_on_SlimKaren Myers photoIn my last blog, “How I Came to Go Foxhunting,” I told my story, and readers gave us some good stories in return. (See the Comments section after the blog and our Facebook page.) The next logical step in this tell-me-a-story series is “My First Foxhunt.” What do we remember aside from that kaleidoscopic blur of new images and sensations? Once again, I’ll tell you my story, then you can tell us yours.

The things that stick in my mind from my first foxhunt forty-five years ago, surprisingly, have little to do with foxhunting. Hounds? I’m sure there was a pack of foxhounds involved, but they certainly don’t stand out in my mind. As I explained in my last blog, I came to hunting through a love of horses.

Like most first-time foxhunters, I suppose I was primarily concerned with complying with the bewildering rules of hunting etiquette and with keeping me and my horse out of trouble. There are, however, two things I do remember about that day with perfect clarity: (1) romance and (2) the late J. Quincy Adams, MFH.

How I Came to Go Foxhunting

NormanMost of us didn’t wake up one morning and say to ourselves, “I think I’ll go foxhunting today.” It just doesn’t happen that way. Some come to the hunting field through long-time family experience. Others are encouraged by a friend. For others—you  romantics—it’s the fulfillment of a dream.

Surely there are other reasons which only you can tell, so here’s your chance. This is the first in a series of upcoming blogs that were suggested by Steve Price, a member of FHL’s Panel of Experts. The series will be rooted in one of the most enchanting sentences in the English language: “Tell me a story.”

I’ll tell you mine. Then you can tell us yours.

What Do Foxhunters Do in the Summertime?

norman.woffordJim Wofford photoWe all rue the end of the foxhunting season in March. And now that the point-to-point season has ended and the final hound show of the year is only a few days away, what to do until September?

Well, after crying over the season’s end, we all seem to find a lot to do. Sometimes it’s just the same old things that produce the familiar rhythm of the year’s cycle. I’m always anxious to get my tomato plants in and toil away for what sometimes results in a rewarding harvest and other times ends in a tangle of limp and barren vines. No matter. I do it again the following year with renewed hope.

The Virginia Foxhound Show: Hounds and Sunshine!

liziartThe sun blazed, but the mature trees gracing Morven Park provided shade, and the multi-colored hospitality tents above the show rings offered cooling drink and refreshment. It was a happy throng that milled back and forth all day, watching hounds and browsing the vendor stands.

In the Foxhunting Life booth, our free drawing for Lizi Ruch’s lovely set of four hound puppy plates was a big hit. By day’s end we had a bowlful of names from which to pick, and the winner is....Barbara McKee from Leesburg!