Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhunting Life in Print?

normanmaraWe have an idea, but only you—Foxhunting Life readers—can tell us whether it’s a good one. Hence, we're asking you to take a very short survey of no more than three yes-or-no questions.

For the past few years, we have been emailing our twice-monthly e-magazine, FHL WEEK, in electronic form. We know many of you like it because more than 4,000 of you have registered to receive it. Some of you are paying subscribers, able to read the entire text of all the articles and gain access to all the resources of the website. Others are satisfied to receive the free e-magazine with only limited access to the articles. We’re hoping that our idea will appeal to all of you—paying and non-paying subscribers alike.

Many of you may still prefer to read a printed page—at your leisure, in a favorite chair or in bed. How could we satisfy that need, we wondered, without the expense of printing and mailing paper magazines?

What if we email a PDF of the magazine with the full text of all the articles, something subscribers could simply print out on their own color printer?  No “readmore” links to click. Print it, and carry it away. We’d even leave a good margin on the left, so pages could be punched and stored in binders.

If you’re already a paying subscriber, would the inclusion of a printable PDF file along with our e-magazine be a welcome addition to your subscription? We need to know! Please help us by taking this very short survey for paying subscribers, requiring “yes” or “no” answers to just three questions.

If you’re a non-paying subscriber and content to receive the free e-magazine but sometimes want to read the full text of all articles, would the inclusion of a printable PDF file add sufficient value to encourage you to become a paying subscriber? Please help us by taking this very short survey for non-paying subscribers, requiring “yes” or “no” answers to just two questions.

All of us love foxhunting, else we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Please help FHL to do a good job for you and for our sport by clicking on the appropriate link above and answering these few questions. It will take just seconds. Thank you.

Posted June 29, 2015

Rupert Isaacson's Horse boy

Rupert Isaacson is a horseman. He was an avid foxhunter until other life matters intruded. He is a gifted writer as well. But Rupert’s principal gift to humanity is a mind set that is constitutionally unable to accept limits on what is possible. No challenge, no matter the odds, is hopeless to Isaacson. Time and again he has tilted at the windmills of conventional wisdom and accomplished astonishing results.

Rupert was born in England and roamed the world as a travel and environmental writer, specializing in Africa. It was there that he came upon a cause that captured him totally—the displacement and removal of the Bushmen of the Kalahari from their traditional hunting grounds by their own government. He became a vigorous activist for the Bushmen, gave speeches, wrote a book about their plight, and arranged for the Bushmen to appear before the United Nations to plead their case. They won.

At about that time, Rupert and his wife, then living in Texas, discovered that their infant son Rowan was autistic. Conventional treatment protocols—and they tried many—were unable to improve the boy’s most troubling behavioral problems, and Rupert immersed himself into finding alternate solutions. He discovered that horseback riding while holding his son in front of him in the saddle was therapeutic for the boy. But only temporarily.

On Vacation!

vacation2.rushe

Foxhunting Life won’t publish any new articles through the next two weekends, June 12 through June 21, 2015. Time for a short break. We hope you’ll miss us!

The Blue Birdseye Stock Tie: A Smashing Style from the Past

70Karen Ewbank is ready for cubhunting in her blue birdseye stock tie.

I want to tell you about a little-known yet colorful article of foxhunting attire from the past that deserves to be resurrected. When I first saw it under the huntsman's scarlet coat I asked myself, “What in the world is that man wearing about his neck?”

Here was an experienced foxhunter who had been a professional huntsman and whipper-in for world-class packs in England, Ireland, and America, yet he appeared to be oblivious to “proper” foxhunting attire. I’m referring to Hugh Robards, huntsman of the Middleburg Hunt. Robards is also an author, a student of the noble art, and possesses an extensive library. I thought he should have known better, but I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I didn’t ask.

It turns out that I was the ignorant one, but, I suspect, I’m not alone in this particular matter. Robards, I was to learn, was wearing a striking article of traditional foxhunting attire—a blue birdseye stock tie—under his scarlet coat. During his twenty-seven-year stint as huntsman for Lord Daresbury at the County Limerick (IRE), both he and Daresbury wore their blue birdseye stock ties through the autumn hunting season.

How many foxhunters of today have ever heard of such a thing, I wonder? The better question, though, is wouldn’t it be great fun to bring back this handsome stock tie into our own hunting fields?

How to Find Our Old Articles

nodh.klmSince we posted our first article on Foxhunting Life five years ago, more than five hundred articles have been published. And they’re all still here...easily recovered.

When new articles are posted to the top of the Home Page, the older material is pushed down. The five most recent articles are always visible on the Home Page; the titles of the six articles published before those five articles are shown at the bottom of the Home Page; and the hundreds of articles that preceded those eleven are still available and recoverable.

There are four ways to find an old article: the Search function, the Full Article List, the Hunt Club Pages, or by Category.

Tommy Hitchcock, Jr: Sportsman, War Hero

tommy hitchcock.polo2May 8, 2015 will mark the seventieth anniversary of V-E Day, Victory in Europe, the end of the Nazi menace. It’s a propitious time to remember a foxhunting sportsman named Tommy Hitchcock, Jr.

Most Foxhunting Life readers are familiar with his name. Born in Aiken, South Carolina, Hitchcock was an all-around sportsman, a foxhunter, and perhaps the greatest American polo player of all time. A ten-goal player by age twenty-two, Hitchcock led the U.S. team to their first victory in the 1921 International Polo Cup. He followed that feat by leading four teams to U.S. National Open Championships. In 1939, after the death of his mother, Louise Eustis Hitchcock, MFH of the Aiken Hounds, Tommy and his sister Helen founded what is know today as the Hitchcock Woods Foundation in Aiken—a magnificent gift to subsequent generations of horsemen and women from all across North America.

Perhaps less known, however, is the singular role that Hitchcock played in the winning of World War II. If not for Hitchcock, the date June 6, 1944 would most likely not be known to history as D-Day. The invasion of the European mainland would have necessarily been postponed. And if it hadn’t, thousands more Allied soldiers would have been slaughtered on the beaches by the German Air Force.

The Making of a Book...Starting From the Ending

fitzrada and jane.paul brownJane Pohl and Fitzrada, painted by Paul BrownIn 2001 the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg, Virginia, mounted an exhibit of the works of artist Paul Brown, famed for his elegant rendering of horsemen, horsewomen, and horses—racing, showing, and foxhunting. I was, at the time, a member of the Museum Advisory Board, and on the night of the exhibit I watched with curiosity and interest a slim, elderly, and proudly composed woman being carried in her wheelchair up the narrow back steps inside the Westmoreland Davis mansion to the second floor where the exhibit was hung.

I didn’t know whom she was, nor did I even meet her. Two months later she was dead, and I was equally unaware of even that occurrence. Her name, I was to learn some years later, was Jane Pohl, and, though she was terminally ill the night I saw her, she was determined to attend the exhibit, her last outing, because she had lent some of the Paul Brown art depicting her and her horse Fitzrada for the exhibit. I couldn’t know at the time that I was witnessing the ending of a story with which I was to become more than familiar.

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