Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Accusations Against UK Hunt Devastating

nodh.klmKaren L. Meyers photoIf the accusations are proven in court, the South Herefordshire Foxhounds, established in 1869, could be forced to dissolve—their hunting country redistributed to neighboring hunts. If the accusations are proven, a few misguided outlaws may have killed any chance of reversing Britain’s Hunting Act, certainly for the near future. If the accusations are proven, all foxhunting is tarnished.

Video footage taken secretly by anti-hunting activists purports to show two live fox cubs placed into the kennels with foxhounds, later removed lifeless, the carcasses placed in a dumpster from which they were later recovered and photographed by the activists.

If true, this wouldn’t even contravene the Hunting Act of 2004. It would be a breach of Britain’s Animal Welfare Act. It would also breach accepted hunting practices for the past century or more. All as a new Conservative-led government and the Countryside Alliance would like to convince the British populace that foxhunters can police themselves!

Foxhunters Will Benefit From NFL-Financed Research

fallNational Football League/industry/government consortium funds research by riding helmet manufacturer to reduce sport-related head injuries. / Nico Morgan photo

Charles Owen, a leading developer and manufacturer of protective equestrian head wear, has been selected as one of five finalists to receive funds for the further development of new materials for protection from head injuries. Funding for the research has been made available by Head Health Challenge III, a partnership of the National Football League (NFL), Under Armour, General Electric, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Helmet design expert, Roy Burek, President and CEO of Charles Owen Inc., in collaboration with Cardiff University (Wales), Cambridge University (UK), and the High Performance Computing Center (Wales), has been working on the development of new energy absorbing materials based on the ancient Japanese art of origami. By using super-computers to analyze new material structures that fold, hinge, and compress, Burek aims to create new multi-reaction materials capable of protecting against soft falls differently than harder falls, oblique impacts differently than direct impacts. Their revolutionary material is called C3.

Eleven Years of England's Hunting Act

nmf.callar.blogcropLiz Callar photoIt’s been eleven years since England’s Hunting Act of 2004 was enacted by the Labour government, and ten years since the Act was put into effect. So what happened this year?

After the May elections, Prime Minister David Cameron found himself leading a Conservative Party majority government for the first time. Pro-hunting Conservatives were ecstatic and  looked to Cameron to make good on his pledge to bring a free vote to the floor in Parliament. They sought first to abolish the Act, then later hoped to at least modify the Act. Cameron, however, was never sufficiently confident to bring either proposal to the floor. Too many members of his own party, not to mention the Liberal opposition, pledged to oppose him on the issue.

That was the bad news. There was news this month, however, with potential for positive development.

2006 Masters Seminar Featured Distinguished Panelists

tony leahyTony Leahy, MFH moderated a distinguished panel.

The New Masters Seminar, organized by the MFHA and held in Chantilly, Virginia on April 8, 2006 was designed to provide guidance for new Masters. In testimony to the strength of the panel, however, the Seminar attracted over forty Masters, many of whom could hardly be considered ‘new.’ While five of the Masters who attended had less than ten years hunting experience, seven had been hunting for more than forty years, and fully half of the group had more than twenty years hunting experience each.

The panel was composed of five former MFHA presidents: Benjamin H. Hardaway, III; J.W.Y. ‘Duck’ Martin, Jr.; Dr. John W.D. McDonald; C. Martin Wood, III; and James L. Young. This august group came to the party offering a total of 270 years of foxhunting experience!

Among the topics discussed were: Managing the Breeding Program; Managing Professional Staff; Private, Subscription, or Membership Packs; Land Conservation; Breeding Hounds for Coyote or Fox; Sportsmanship; and Tradition. The Panel Moderator was Tony Leahy, MFH.

Foxhunting Life Has a New Look!

nf.manny.maisanoJoanne Maisano photoTa...dah! A new look for Foxhunting Life and two new subscription plans!

We’ve migrated to an up-to-date version of our platform that offers improved security and better viewing on personal devices. Also, we are introducing new subscription options.

Remember when we polled readers on whether or not PDF files of our entire e-magazine would be of interest to some of you? We were encouraged by your answers, so included with this issue of FHL WEEK we have attached a printable PDF file containing all the articles in their entirety. It’s a sample of what you get with either of our two new subscription offerings: a Printable PDF Subscription or an upgrade to the Combination Electronic/PDF Subscription.

We now offer three annual subscription plans: (1) the same Electronic Subscription that we have been offering since we started, (2) a new Printable PDF Subscription in which subscribers receive via email a PDF file of the entire e-magazine, FHL WEEK, twice a month, which they can print out in its entirety (no readmore links!), and (3) a Combination Electronic/PDF Subscription. Here’s how the new subscription plans will work:

You Ask; We Answer

NormanAs the new season begins, I want to remind readers about one of Foxhunting Life’s features—our Panel of Experts. Every foxhunter has the occasional question, whether it be what the huntsman, the whipper-in, or the hounds are doing; the meaning of an arcane hunting term;  breeding or judging hounds; correct attire; a point of etiquette; training the field hunter; even sporting art or literature.

I have found over the years that while there are no bad questions, sometimes there are bad answers! In the belief that our readers deserve only authoritative answers, we assembled a Panel of Experts whose breadth of knowledge and proven experience was unassailable.

Questions tackled by our Experts have included: why does a fox bark, what triggers the spring dance of huntsmen from one hunt to the next, are there different types of foxes in England, how to handle a hound that is shy of men, can foxhounds make good house pets, how to retrain a horse that exits the trailer like a cannonball, why is an afternoon after-hunt meal called a hunt breakfast, what is a July hound, what is the origin of ratcatcher, and many, many more. To see the answers to those questions and others, go to the Ask the Experts dropdown menu and click on Questions and Answers.

Fanciful Fibs and Other Sins

norman.karen.farnleyPhoto by Karen MyerSome Foxhunting Life readers have already seen this opinion piece, published more than a year ago. While it attracted a number of comments for which I’m grateful, the message hasn’t, and of course never will reach everyone. So after having seen a new batch of newspaper articles  from around the country, containing cringe-worthy quotes by foxhunters attending Opening Meets this season, I’m obliged to re-publish my argument. If it reaches another pair of eyes or ears and changes the mind attached, it will be worthwhile!

As Pogo once famously said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” I think of that bit of comic strip philosophy whenever I hear foxhunters attempt to con the public or distance themselves from the truth about our sport.

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