Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Whipper-In: What's In the Name?

This article was first published in 2013. With an archive of thousands of articles available on our website, we hope you will agree that at least a few are worth republishing!

booli selmayr.kirsten edlundBooli Selmayr, professional whipper-in, Millbrook Hunt (NY): “A good day whipping-in is not having to be told, but instead, allowing natural instinct to guide me: listening to the horn and hounds, reading the terrain, and quickly distinguishing whether fox or coyote.” / Kirsten Edlund-Tunkel photoTo the uninitiated, the term whipper-in might conjure images of a callous fellow laying his whip across the backs of hounds for every infraction. In fact, the whip is used primarily for its loud crack as an attention-getter. The explosive noise breaks the concentration of hounds from whatever they are doing that the whipper-in wants to stop.

Deer Hunters, Foxhunters: Can We Share?

 Andrea simpson on merry.cropThe author rides Merry on the family farm.  /   Cary McWhorter photo

Every year, fields, woods, copses, and little dells are turned into McMansions, strip malls, and highways. Occasionally, even some truly lovely or necessary structures are built. But the countryside is still gone in the process.

For hunters, this means that land available for shooting, riding, or chasing becomes increasingly rare and precious. Inevitably, there is competition for the wildlands that remain. This competition can be limiting for one group or another. But what if it were possible to share that land? Could different groups work it out to use the land, not perhaps simultaneously but at least during the same season? Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? Can it be done?

The Rock Dam

This ancient rock dam, hidden within a 1,600-acre woodland, is known by all who have hunted the fox and coyote through the Belle Meade Hunt country in Thomson, Georgia. Which means it’s dearly familiar to the Belle Meade members and has been seen by a thousand foxhunting visitors from at least fifty different hunts from fifteen separate nations! It appears to the rider as he or she drops down to a water crossing, looks to the side, and beholds the massive rock-faced cliff standing over its pool in complete concert with its natural surroundings. One is often on the move while hunting at Belle Meade, with little chance to stop and absorb the peaceful beauty of the scene, which disappears behind just as suddenly as it revealed itself. So let’s pause for a moment in this off-season and let Master Epp Wilson tell us what he has learned about it.

The Rock Dam on Maddock’s Creek, McDuffie County, Georgia, is a magical place. Some like vanilla, some like chocolate, but everyone likes or loves the Rock Dam. History. Water. Strength. Engineering. It is truly timeless and holds something for everyone, young and old. City person or countryside person. If there is one place that we could say is the most popular place in our hunting country, the Rock Dam is it.

Bespoke Hunting Attire: Part 2

The Art of Wearing

 Aidan Suntan OConnell at och.mullins. Aidan O'Connell wearing his Frazer-made charcoal grey hunting tails with Prussian collar and Prince of Wales cuffs and champagne boot tops hunting with the Orange County Hounds in Virginia  /   Noel Mullins photo

I have some great memories and so many amusing stories of traveling to different countries to hunt and report on foxhunting with Frazers tailor shop’s most prominent client: Aidan ‘Suntan’ O’Connell. I captured images of Aidan wearing bespoke tailoring in all aspects of the sport and at social events in Europe and the US as he has perhaps one of the most complete bespoke wardrobes that I know of. He also wore a ponytail with a velvet bow that he grew during a period of contemplation in England.

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