Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Not Stupid; Just Misled

nodh.klmA recent poll by the Opinion Research Corporation revealed that seventy-one percent of Americans believe that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an umbrella organization for local humane societies across the country. They’re wrong.

Further, sixty-eight percent believe that donations made to HSUS help to fund these humane shelters. They’re ninety-nine percent wrong.

HSUS, according to IRS filings, gives one percent of their budget to animal shelters, according to JoAnn Alumbaugh’s article in Dairy Herd Network.

Are all these people wrong because they are stupid, or are they being misled?

The Whipper-In Revealed

2012 11 23cheshire-0172Stephanie 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.

WANTED: Opening Meet Photos!

norman.chance.karen mIt 's time to change the photos in our Foxhunting Life banner slide show (above), and with the formal season starting we’d like to post a collection of all Opening Meet photos in our new banner.

Horses, hounds, blessing ceremonies—we posted some beautiful photos last season. Send your photo prospects directly to me at [email protected] Be sure to include the photographer’s name so we can credit him or her along with the hunt’s name.

As you can see from our banner, we need horizontal images or images that can be cropped to the horizontal. In other words, we can’t use verticals!

Hint to photographers: look for the action!

Posted October 27, 2013 Save

How to Find Past Articles on FHL

norman.karen.farnleyKaren Myers photoI thought it might be helpful now and then to point out the tools provided on Foxhunting Life for finding past articles or for finding articles on any particular subject of interest.

Readers will notice, we hope, that our Home Page is continually being updated with new articles. As new articles are posted, the older material is pushed lower on the Home Page until it disappears. Or does it?

No, it doesn’t! After three years of publishing FHL, there are more than 800 articles covering virtually every aspect of our sport that are available to you with just a few keystrokes.

Here are three simple ways to find articles of interest: the Search function, the Hunt Club Pages, or the article Category.

Charles Church in Open Air

church1Private commission by Charles Church 

I wrote recently about the paintings of Sir Alfred Munnings and his portrayal of the horse in motion—flowing, graceful, muscles rippling, indescribably beautiful—on the occasion of the brilliant exhibition of his works at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. I am hopeful that one day I can announce to you an exhibition of the works of a contemporary artist—Charles Church—at that same venue!

Church, 43, is today an internationally renowned painter of horses, landscapes, and country life. Upon the occasion of his last critically-acclaimed exhibition, the Prince of Wales wrote of Charles’ “unique sensitivity and profound understanding of his subject matter.” His commissions have included The Royal Pageant of The Horse for H.M. The Queen, as well as paintings for H.M. The Sultan of Oman and H.H. The Aga Khan. His racing commissions include more than thirty-seven Group or Grade 1 winners.

Lilla Mason Is New MFH at Iroquois

iroquois masters.hound welfare blogHuntsman Lilla Mason joins Dr. Jack Van Nagell (left) and Jerry Miller (behind Lilla) as Joint-MFH of the Iroquois Hunt (KY)  /  Glenye Cain Oakford photo

It’s gratifying when sportsmen and women whom you have long known and respected are elevated to loftier positions in their hunts. Lilla Mason, former whipper-in, currently huntsman, has been named MFH at the Iroquois Hunt in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lilla is a soft-spoken and thoughtful woman who has earned her way by performing superbly at every stage of her foxhunting career with Iroquois. The first time I hunted with Lilla was in 1998, she was whipping-in to Jerry Miller, MFH at the time, and I had been invited to ride up with her.

As we headed out she turned in the saddle and said, "Be careful in this piece of country. You could get stuck in a bog."

Melvin Poe Celebrates 93rd Birthday; Hunts Hounds

melvin.parker2Betsy Burke Parker photo

World-renowned huntsman Melvin Poe celebrated his 93rd birthday Sunday, August 25 by doing what only comes natural to the living legend—going foxhunting. Riding his favorite hunter and surrounded by Peggy, his wife of some fifty years, his four daughters, a bevy of grandchildren, neighbors, and friends, Melvin handled the horn and the reins with the cool confidence of a man one-quarter his age at what had to be a historic hunt.

"I can't believe he's still going strong," said Charlie Matheson, former president of the Orange County Hounds where Melvin served as huntsman some three decades. "He's an amazing man. We're so lucky to have him."