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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.

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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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Bespoke Hunting Attire: Part 1

The Art of Making

Michael and Elsie FrazerMichael and Elsie Frazer in their bespoke tailoring shop in the village of Hospital, Ireland   /   Noel Mullins photo

I read a report recently in The Sunday Times that ‘Fast Fashion,’ a term for the impulse buying of clothes online and in stores that people wear just a few times and then discard, contributes 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year into the atmosphere. In the USA alone, 13 million tons of clothing are thrown into landfills or burned. In the UK, 300,000 tons of clothing end up in landfills, an interesting statistic in that the public is often led to believe, incorrectly, that farmers are to blame for all the unwanted emissions.

Those in the hunting fields, however, used to see family after family who wore hunting attire passed down from prior generations. What was their secret?

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Coincidences of the Field

jim meads and dierdre hanna.small.ginnie beardThe author with renowned sporting photographer Jim Meads at the Peterborough Hound Show / Ginnie Beard photo
Life is full of amazing flukes—or coincidences—but for me by far the largest percentage have had something to do with foxhunting. So, starting at the beginning, I can hear the phone ringing and on the other end of the line is my Aunt April.

“You’ll never believe it,” she said, “but I’ve just been to the dentist and while sitting in the Waiting Room I picked up a copy of Hounds magazine. Remembering that you write for them, I was very interested to have a look at it. Imagine my amazement when I opened it and there was a photograph of my mother! She was riding side-saddle on her horse, San Toy, ready to hack to the meet.”

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  1. Working My Way Home

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