Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Captain Ronnie Wallace, MFH: A Huntsman Like No Other

ronnie wallace.michael lyneCaptain Ronnie Wallace with hounds while Master of the Heythrop / Oil portrait by Michael Lyne

Captain Ronnie Wallace, MFH was the undisputed dean of British foxhunting and a frequent and popular visitor to the U.S. He was a genius in the art of venery and in his uncanny breeding sense. He was arguably the English breeder most influential in the development of today’s modern English foxhound.

It’s been thirteen years since Captain Wallace died in an automobile accident at age eighty-two, yet whenever hunting conversation turns to amazing feats of hound work performed by a superb huntsman, I’m reminded of an astonishing story that illustrates Wallace’s supremacy.

New Casanova MFH Kathleen O’Keefe: Riding Since Age 6 Months

kathleen okeefe foxhunterKathleen O'Keefe is a multi-time winner of both the North American and the Virginia Field Trial Championships / Liz Callar photoKathleen O’Keefe has been named Joint-Master of the Casanova Hunt. Many feel her appointment to be a natural progression for this accomplished horsewoman. O’Keefe takes the reins of one of Virginia’s oldest foxhunting clubs, expanding a lifelong love affair with horse and field sports.

O’Keefe, fifty-four and a native of Stephens City, Virginia, started riding when she was six months old in a wicker basket saddle, she says. A fourth-generation foxhunter, her late father, grandparents and great-grandfather were riders, and she grew up foxhunting with her grandmother at the Blue Ridge Hunt in Clarke County, Virginia. “I am especially proud of my father, Peter Drinkwater,” O’Keefe says, noting he won the Virginia Field Hunter Championship twice, a feat O’Keefe repeated in 2000 with her Thoroughbred field hunter Lord Hugh.

KT Atkins Is New MFH at Warrenton

fox-hunter-kt-atkins-mfhDouglas Lees photo

In the announcement of Katharine T. (“KT”) Atkins’s election to the Mastership at the Warrenton Hunt (VA), Kim Nash, MFH wrote, “Her extraordinary wealth of foxhunting knowledge and equestrian skills bring remarkable depth to our team of Masters.”

KT whipped-in to her late husband, Jim Atkins, for nearly thirty years in Virginia, all through his service as professional huntsman to the Old Dominion Hounds, Piedmont Fox Hounds, Dr. Gable’s Foxhounds, and the Warrenton Hunt. Jim was inducted into the Huntsmen’s Room at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting last May, and, as his whipper-in through all those years, KT has seen some outstanding hound work. And she knows what it takes to produce it.

Huntsmen On the Move: II

As the new season gets underway, Foxhunting Life updates its March 31 report on the recent moves of huntsmen across North America.

ashley hubbard.will hunt fox hounds at green spring valleyHuntsman Ashley Hubbard leads the Green Spring Valley hounds on summer exercise. / Tammie Monaco photo

Round I
Ashley Hubbard is the new huntsman for the Green Spring Valley Hounds (MD). Hubbard has served as kennel huntsman for the Fox River Valley Hunt (IL) for nearly ten years, assisting Tony Leahy, MFH, and carrying the horn when necessary.

“Tony didn’t want to lose him,” explained Duck Martin, MFH at Green Spring Valley, “but he thought this would be a good opportunity for Ashley.”

Since the end of World War II, Green Spring Valley has had just four huntsmen: Leslie Grimes, Andrew Barclay, John Tabachka, and Sam Clifton. Both Grimes and Barclay have been enshrined in the Huntsmen’s Room at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting.

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John Harris Anderson Blue Cardinal Press fox hunting book
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