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Lampton’s Alternate Sporting Life

masonlampton.smallMason Lampton, MFHMason Lampton, a long-serving leader of the sport of foxhunting in North America and MFH of the Midland Fox Hounds (GA), has another sporting life. His alternate Field of Dreams to the hunting field is a polo field. The phrase, “If you build it they will come,” must have rattled around in his head for a while before he decided to transform a fallow potato field in Northern Michigan into a first-rate polo field.

This year, having completed its eighth season, Bliss Polo is bringing players and spectators to matches all the way to the northernmost shores of Lake Michigan. Near the Straits of Mackinac. Who would have thought?

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Horses, Hounds, Coyotes and a Modern Day Huntsman...er...Woman

ros balding.cat herinedaviesHuntsman Ros Balding leads hounds and field of the Toronto and North York Hunt  /  Catherine Davies photo
Rosslynn Balding is sitting on a couch with her wool-sock-clad feet tucked comfortably beneath her. The professional huntsman has a bundle of handwritten notes in her right hand, which she keeps reminding herself, aloud, to refer to, but which she mostly keeps forgetting to check. She admits to being nervous. She has never been interviewed by a journalist before and is wary, in a most open, friendly way that, despite assurances to the contrary, I am an undercover, coyote-loving writer who has come to a 120-acre property, just south of the village of Creemore, Ontario, to blow the lid off an arcane blood sport.

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Dr. Eric Myer Is Still Foxhunting at 82

eric myer.karen kandraEric Myer wears the colors of the Genesee Valley Hunt (NY) early in the season.  /   Karen Kandra Wenzel photo

Eric Myer, DVM, is currently in his sixty-sixth season of foxhunting. And not just with one hunt. No, no. If that were the case, the hunting season would be far too short to suit him.

At eighty-two, Eric begins his season in mid-July up north near Rochester, New York with the Genesee Valley Hunt. His wife Martha has roots in Geneseo, and the couple has a summer farm there. Then, in mid-October, when the Piedmont Fox Hounds are well into their cubhunting season down south in Virginia, Eric and Martha return to their Boyce farm in the Shenandoah Valley.

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Captain Ian Farquhar Closes a Distinguished Career

ian farquhar.suit and tieThe Master and huntsman of arguably the most exclusive and storied foxhunting pack in the world—the Duke of Beaufort’s—looks ahead after a forty-five-year career carrying the horn. Captain Ian Farquhar is not encouraged by what he sees.

From his comfortable farmhouse on the Highgrove estate of the Prince of Wales, filled with photos, paintings, and artifacts that could be said to mock his earlier years of untrammelled post-war sport, Farquhar and his beautiful wife, Pammie-Jane—herself a noted horsewoman—contemplate their upcoming move to retirement in the West Country. Just fifteen years ago, like a knife in the heart, a despised piece of legislation, the Hunting Act, was passed by his nation.

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