Norm Fine's Blog
By Norman Fine
Stephanie Boyer, professional whipper-in, Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (PA): “I am the huntsman’s eyes and ears, and I have to be honest with him at all times concerning what I see, whether he wants to hear it or not!” / Jim Graham photoYou may have noticed that the whipper-in has been Foxhunting Life’s theme this week. We field members watch these heroic figures, intent in their mission, standing in the irons, galloping on, claiming their “right-of-way” when passing the field, but what do they actually do?
For the answer to this question, read “The Whipper-In Is the Huntsman’s Right Hand” below.
The article “Whipper-In: What’s in a Name?” compares the differing agendas of the professional versus the honorary whipper-in and examines the best use of the whip they carry. “The Galloping Whip” by Brooksby is a poetic tribute to Charles Isaac, a nineteenth century whipper-in with the Pytchley (UK).
For anyone with aspirations to whipping-in one day, a particularly useful book devoted to the subject is Whipper-In by Dennis Foster, Executive Director of the MFHA. Indeed, it’s a good read for anyone interested in how the whipper-in, huntsman, and hounds work together in the field.
According to Peter Beckford, the whipper-in can be the decisive ingredient in turning a mediocre hunting day into a brilliant one. Here’s what he had to say in his classic, ageless 1781 treatise, Thoughts on Hunting.