Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Raymond Carter: Complete Horseman

Ray_7_copyRay Carter hunting the New Market-Middletown Valley hounds in 1981 / Janet Hitchen photoRaymond Allaeys Carter died peacefully at home in Middletown, Maryland on June 20, 2011 from complications related to prostate cancer. Ray was born in Yorkshire, England in 1930. Times were tough in those years and money was scarce. Ray, however, with a natural love of horses always found a way to beg rides on farmer’s draft horses returning from work in the fields.

He cleaned stalls at a local stable to be able to ride. He was a natural athlete and was soon riding some of the fancier ponies in local gymkhanas. When he finished school at age fourteen, his parents, loath to let him work in the local mines, arranged an apprenticeship for him with a racing stable in Newmarket. He was basically an indentured servant, receiving only a pound a month for learning a trade. At the end of five years he was earning twenty pounds a year.

The Huntsman Introduces Himself

andy_bozdan2Andy Bozdan is the new huntsman for the Tennessee Valley Hunt. Here he calls in the Barwon hounds after a sharp hunt in Victoria, southern Australia.A dear friend used to keep a reminder tacked to her refrigerator. It was all about attitude. The essence of it was that attitude is the most important aspect in life. And it’s really the only thing over which we have total control.

The Tennessee Valley Hunt just hired a new huntsman—Andy Bozdan—who will soon arrive in the States. Andy sent an email to his new hunt, introducing himself and explaining his perceptions of the job. It is so brimming with good attitude that, rather than extracting a few facts for a brief News bulletin, I thought you might enjoy reading Andy’s entire message. He wrote:

Huntland Kennels at One Hundred

kennel_copy_21914 photograph of Huntsman Charlie Carver (front), Master Joe Thomas, and hounds  /  Courtesy of Karen L. MyersThis year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the completion by Joseph B. Thomas of the stables and kennels at his historic estate in Middleburg, Virginia, aptly named Huntland.

On September 18, 2011, current owner Dr. Betsee Parker marked the anniversary with a luncheon for members of both the Piedmont and Middleburg Hunts. Newly uncovered photographs of the original structure were displayed, and people were free to wander through the stables and kennels.

A Foxhunter's Wish

IMG_0011-3Marge Warder and Monty, Opening Meet, Tryon Hounds, 2005  /  Erik Olsen photoMarge Warder has had a lifelong love affair with horses. As a child, riding was her favorite activity.

She traveled the world as a stewardess with Pan American Airways and lived the big-city life in New York.

After retirement, she moved to North Carolina, resumed her life with horses, and joined the Tryon Hounds and the Green Creek Hounds.

Last year, at the age of seventy, Marge Warder fell off her horse Monty. Something was wrong. A few months later she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotropic lateral sclerosis, ALS). She moved into an assisted living home near her sister Carrie Bartlett in Louisiana. She decorated her room with horse stuff and told stories of her foxhunting adventures. She shared one heartfelt wish with a social worker visiting the home. She wanted to ride a horse one last time.